Real Madrid vs Celta Vigo La Liga preview and prediction

Jude Bellingham’s impressive start with Real Madrid has swiftly alleviated some of the disappointment caused by Karim Benzema’s departure and the club’s inability to secure Kylian Mbappe’s transfer.

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Bellingham, Madrid’s significant signing this year, initiated his journey with a spectacular start, scoring a goal in his new team’s 2-0 triumph against Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league opener. He then scored twice in their 3-1 win over Almeria. The spotlight will be on Bellingham once again as Madrid head to Celta Vigo on Friday, seeking a flawless record.

These performances have provided Madrid with confidence that it possesses a significant offensive option, addressing concerns stemming from the lack of depth in that area of the squad. Benzema and three other forwards — Eden Hazard, Marco Asensio, and Mariano Diaz — left Madrid during the offseason. The sole addition to the attacking lineup was Spain striker Joselu, acquired on loan from Espanyol.

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The English midfielder was among the most sought-after players this year and joined Madrid in a transfer worth 130 million euros ($141 million) from Borussia Dortmund. The remaining forwards in Madrid’s squad this season are Vinicius and Rodrygo, the Brazilian duo expected to assume more prominent roles following the departures in the attack. Brahim Diaz is also listed as a forward, although he frequently played in midfield when on loan with AC Milan.

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Benzema had been the team’s standout player in recent seasons, spearheading the attack after Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure. The French striker left to embrace a lucrative opportunity in Saudi Arabia. Despite hopes that Mbappe would join Madrid this season, the club has yet to reach an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain.

Ancelotti confirmed that newly acquired goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga will start in goal, temporarily replacing the injured regular starter Thibaut Courtois. Andriy Lunin will return to the bench.

Under the guidance of former Madrid coach Rafa Benitez this season, Celta aims to secure its first win after commencing the campaign with a 2-0 home loss against Osasuna and a 1-1 draw against Real Sociedad, thanks to Oscar Mingueza’s stoppage-time equaliser. As the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium undergoes renovation, Madrid are playing their first three matches away from home.

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Real Madrid come into the match as strong favourites and are expected to finish with a significant result.

Prediction: Celta Vigo 1-3 Real Madrid

FC Barcelona to take on Villareal

Meanwhile, reigning champs Barcelona will meet Villarreal this Sunday as they look to secure a second consecutive victory. They began the season with a goalless draw against Getafe. They will remain without coach Xavi Hernandez and forward Raphinha due to two-game suspensions. Both received red cards during the Getafe match. Xavi was penalised for disputing a decision with the referee, while Raphinha was found guilty of elbowing an opponent.

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On the other hand, Villarreal had a shaky start with a 2-1 loss to Real Betis at home, but managed to recover with a 1-0 win over Mallorca.

On Monday, Atletico Madrid will play Rayo Vallecano, one of three teams to kick off the season with back-to-back victories, alongside Real Madrid and Valencia. Atletico won their first match against Granada and drew Betis in the previous weekend.

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Valencia, aiming for a third consecutive win, will host Osasuna on Sunday. Sevilla will be seeking their first points after consecutive losses. The team will welcome Girona on Saturday. After two draws, Real Sociedad are desperate for three points as they face newly promoted Las Palmas on Friday. Athletic Bilbao will host Betis on Sunday.

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