Atletico Madrid VS Celta Vigo Prediction
Atletico Madrid and Celta Vigo are set for a clash couple of days after both clubs have been eliminated in the Spanish Copa del Rey semi-finals. And if Atletico Madrid was knocked out from Barcelona, who are usually considered for the main favourites, Celta Vigo surely regrets. “The Celestes” lost in a two-legged duel against Deportivo Alaves and thus they have missed a wonderful opportunity to reach the Spanish Cup final for the first time since 2001. Now Atletico Madrid and Celta Vigo will return on the La Liga stage where they’ll meet in a regular match from round 22’s schedule on Sunday night.
La Liga: Atletico Madrid vs Celta Vigo 12.02.2017
Atletico Madrid aims to another victory over Celta after a marvelous 0-4 success at the “Estadio de Balaídos” in Vigo, when both sides met earlier in the season. That encounter was in September, part from round 3 of the 2016-17 Spanish La Liga campaign and also first win of “Atleti”. We can easily say that game was from huge importance for Diego Simeone’s men, who had to travel to Galicia after two disappointing draws at the very beginning. Previous game vs Celta was marked by some brilliant second-half efforts when guests from Madrid have scored all their goals.
That game came as an inspiration for “Los Colchoneros” and following few weeks were really successful. Last season’s finalists in the UEFA Champions League have began their new European quest with a win against PSV in Eindhoven, which was a crucial result for Diego Simeone and his new Champions League hopes. Since Atletico were drawn in a group with names of Bayern Munich, PSV and Russian Rostov. Nevertheless, Atletico Madrid won its first five Champions League games and that streak was more than enough for securing them first position in Group D. Expectations are that first position in any of the UEFA Champions League groups should normally help to its holder in the Round of 16 draw, but you can try telling it to some other sides… However, Atletico Madrid were one of the clubs who can’t be so disappointed with the Champions League 1/8 finals draw, where they will face Bayer Leverkusen. More than acceptable draw when we compare possible opponents in such an advanced stage of Europe’s top football competition.
Meanwhile, Atletico couldn’t remain competitive enough to its main La Liga rivals and at the end it seems Diego Simeone should be content with a top 4 finish. Indeed, Atletico Madrid takes on Celta Vigo as a team which is fifth in the La Liga standings, being replaced from top 4 on Friday night, when Real Sociedad won 2-1 vs Espanyol. This leaves the club from Madrid on two points behind Real Sociedad and Atleti just can’t afford another wrong step.
Celta Vigo finished on sixth place at the end of season 2015-16 and Eduardo Berizzo’s men were surely dreaming for something bigger. Currently Celta seems to be one of the mid-table La Liga teams and eventual progress to the 2017 Spanish Cup Final could have been a great achievement.
Eduardo Berizzo should use the small time limit between Wednesday (when Celta lost 1-0 from Deportivo Alavés) and Sunday with a main purpose to boost confidence within its squad. Leaving the midweek defeat aside and except all remaining Spanish La Liga rounds, Celta Vigo must prepare for team’s return to the elimination stage of the UEFA Europa League. Celta’s last participation at such a phase was in March 2007, when Spaniards lost to Werder Bremen in a two-legged matchup.
Ten years later Celta Vigo is one of the 32 clubs remaining in the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League and Galicians will have to face an extremely difficult opposition in Shakhtar Donetsk’s face.
Match Preview: Team News, Squads and Missing Players
First of all, only four nights before welcoming Shakhtar Donetsk at home turf, Celta Vigo will try to set up a trap against a solid home side as Atletico.
Last weekend Celta had a rest because their La Liga match vs Real Madrid was postponed and this arouses some question was that a good thing, or it caused the defeat from Alaves few days later. Well, that is already history and it doesn’t matter anymore, so Eduardo Berizzo must decide whether he plans to make rotations or he will stick to the same formation he used on Wednesday night.
Our anticipations are same as of media’s, which means Celta will start with same squad. This doesn’t exclude some changes and it’s likely to see Pione Sisto in the starting XI at the expense of Theo Bongonda.
In the meantime Eduardo Berizzo still can’t rely on injured goalkeeper Rubén Blanco and on French attacker Claudio Beauvue.
Atletico Madrid will fight to return into top four and Diego Simeone will have to win tactical duel against his Argentine compatriot Eduardo Berizzo. Unfortunately, Simeone still suffers from consequences of the midweek clash in Barcelona not only because guests from Madrid were eliminated, but because they gave victims as well. Diego Godin and Nico Gaitan were both injured and respectively substituted in that game, and if first one misses out for sure, Gaitan should be fit and he can even start again.
Absence of experienced Uruguayan is a serious concern, as he is a leading figure in Diego Simeone’s formation. His younger compatriot José Giménez is questionable and eventual absences of both Uruguayan centre-backs hints for a starting centre-back duo featuring names of Lucas Hernández and Stefan Savic.
Yannick Carrasco was sent-off in second-half against Barca and even if his suspension is valid only in the Spanish Cup, we won’t be surprised if Simeone prefers Gaitan as a left winger. Such a move may open space for captain Gabi who can return in the starting squad, while Koke should push from right flank of Atleti’s midfield.
Goalkeeper Jan Oblak, Tiago and Augusto Fernandez are other players who are recovering after injuries.
Atletico Madrid vs Celta Vigo: Betting Prediction and Lineups
Atletico Madrid is known to be one of the strongest home teams not only in Spain, but generally in European football. “Los Colchoneros” won once in their last six fixtures as most of them were on the road, whilst only two of them were at home. On Sunday night Diego Simeone will be keen to revive his players and logically Atletico Madrid are considered to be major favourites for winning the game.
On other turn Celta barely wins something away from home and visitors from Vigo will be delighted if they can earn a point here. This predisposes to a cautious formation based on deep defending line and usage of counter-attacks.
Generally we wouldn’t recommend such a bet here, but injury of Godin and Celta’s ability to score on counters are good arguments for our prediction. We fancy currently suggested odds on “Both teams to score – Yes“ and we rate it as a bet with good value. Our betting prediction goes for goals by both teams – Atletico Madrid and Celta Vigo to score at least once on Sunday night.
Venue: “Estadio Vicente Calderón”, Madrid.
Referee: Alejandro Hernández Hernández.
Possible Lineups of Atletico Madrid and Celta Vigo
Atletico Madrid: Miguel Angel Moya – Filipe Luís, Lucas Hernandez, Stefan Savic, Juanfran – Nico Gaitan, Gabi, Saul Ñíguez, Koke – Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gameiro. (4-4-2)
Celta Vigo: Sergio Alvarez – Jonny, Gustavo Cabral, Facundo Roncaglia, Hugo Mallo – Nemanja Radoja, Marcelo Diaz – Pione Sisto, Pablo Hernandez, Daniel Wass – Iago Aspas. (4-2-3-1)