LaLiga: In-form Celta Vigo and leading scorer Iago Aspas eye Real Madrid shock

Celta Vigo's turnaround has been achieved on the back of a run of six wins, a draw and just one loss in their last eight games.

Agence France-Presse January 02, 2021 08:57:58 IST
LaLiga: In-form Celta Vigo and leading scorer Iago Aspas eye Real Madrid shock

Celta Vigo have been in rich form since Eduardo Coudet took over. AFP

Madrid:Real Madrid will attempt to hang onto the coattails of LaLiga leaders and city rivals Atletico on Saturday when they tackle in-form Celta Vigo and Iago Aspas, the veteran striker who leads the Spanish scoring charts this season.

Zinedine Zidane's side lost ground in the title race when they were held to a 1-1 draw by Elche in midweek.

Atletico, however, defeated Getafe 1-0 and have a two-point lead as well as two games in hand.

Since the arrival of 46-year-old Argentine coach Eduardo Coudet, Celta have soared from the edge of the relegation zone to eighth in the table.

That turnaround has been achieved on the back of a run of six wins, a draw and just one loss in their last eight games.

Celta are just two points behind Barcelona.

Aspas, 33, has been instrumental for Celta with nine goals in La Liga this season.

He even leads the top scorers charts with one more goal than Real's Karim Benzema and two ahead of even Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

"Aspas is spectacular, he's also an international," said Zidane of a player who once spent two seasons on Liverpool's books.

"He has always proved it, he is very good. He's the kind of player who makes a difference. He's a key player for them."

Atletico's victory in midweek came in coach Diego Simeone's 500th match in charge.

They face 13th-placed Alaves on Sunday looking for a fourth consecutive win.

Key will be Luis Suarez who grabbed the winner against Getafe, taking his goals total to eight for the season.

Third-placed Real Sociedad, six points off the top, host Osasuna on Sunday.

Barcelona, 10 points behind Atletico, ended a mediocre 2020 on Tuesday with a 1-1 draw against Eibar.

They start 2021 on Sunday with a trip to bottom club Huesca.

Messi, who missed the game with Eibar with a right ankle injury, enters the new year with just six months left on his contract and more questions than before over his future plans.

Barcelona suffered another setback on Friday when they announced Philippe Coutinho will need surgery to treat the injury to the lateral meniscus of his left knee.

"Once the surgery has been completed, further information will be provided to detail the approximate expected recovery time," said a club statement.

Coutinho suffered the injury against Eibar.

Fixtures

Saturday (GMT)

Villarreal v Levante (1300), Real Betis v Sevilla (1515), Getafe v Valladolid (1730), Real Madrid v Celta Vigo (2000)

Sunday

Athletic Bilbao v Elche (1300), Alaves v Atletico Madrid (1515), Real Sociedad v Osasuna (1730), Eibar v Granada (1730), Huesca v Barcelona (2000)

Monday

Valencia v Cadiz (2000)

Updated Date:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Spanish Super Cup: Athletic Bilbao beat Real Madrid 2-1 to setup final with Barcelona
Sports

Spanish Super Cup: Athletic Bilbao beat Real Madrid 2-1 to setup final with Barcelona

Raul Garcia was sent off after 13 minutes when Real Madrid beat Bilbao in the league last month but this time he had two goals in the first half, each coming after a mistake by Lucas Vazquez.

LaLiga: Atletico Madrid's fixture against Athletic Bilbao called off due to record snowfall in Spain
Sports

LaLiga: Atletico Madrid's fixture against Athletic Bilbao called off due to record snowfall in Spain

Athletic were unable to land in Madrid because of the extreme weather brought by Storm Filomena on Friday and had to return to Bilbao early in the evening.

LaLiga: Real Madrid loan 'Japanese Messi' Takefusa Kubo to Spanish rivals Getafe
Sports

LaLiga: Real Madrid loan 'Japanese Messi' Takefusa Kubo to Spanish rivals Getafe

Takefusa Kubo, nicknamed "the Japanese Messi", returned to Spain in 2019 when he joined Real Madrid, but has yet to play for the club.