March 10, 2013
Illness leaves Ronaldo doubtful
Team Stat Comparison
|Celta Vigo||Real Madrid|
|Goals for *||1.2||1.9|
|Goals against *||1.1||1.1|
|Last 5 home||W-L-D-W-L||W-W-W-W-W|
|Last 5 away||W-L-W-L-L||D-D-W-W-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Celta Vigo | Real Madrid|
|Celta Vigo||Real Madrid|
|4/20||A: Almeria||4/26||H: Osasuna|
|4/28||H: Real Valladolid||5/4||H: Valencia|
|5/3||A: Osasuna||5/7||A: Real Valladolid|
|5/11||H: Real Madrid||5/11||A: Celta Vigo|
|5/18||A: Valencia||5/18||H: Espanyol|
Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid will look to build on their excellent recent run when they face struggling Celta Vigo at the Estadio Municipal de Balaidos on Sunday, although they may have to do without Cristiano Ronaldo.
Mourinho's men have lifted the gloom that had surrounded the Bernabeu earlier in the season with a superb run of results which have seen them record back-to-back Clasico victories over Barcelona and advance to the quarter-finals of the Champions League with their midweek win over Manchester United.
Ronaldo grabbed the winning goal at Old Trafford, but the Portuguese winger, along with Sergio Ramos, did not train on Friday due to a bout of flu.
Los Blancos are still some way off Barca's pace in the Primera Division, where they trail their great rivals by 13 points in third place with 12 games to go.
But with Barcelona suffering a rare blip over the last few weeks, Mourinho and company will hope to try and ramp up the pressure on the Catalans.
If Madrid are to continue their strong form they will have to do so without Angel Di Maria, after the Argentina international picked up a hamstring injury at Old Trafford which will keep him out for two weeks.
Xabi Alonso is also doubtful after he played through niggling injury.
But one man who will be looking to continue his excellent form is defender Raphael Varane.
There were many who expressed their surprise when the now 19-year-old Frenchman was plucked from Lens in the summer of 2011, but he has grown in authority during the course of his 19 appearances this season, excelling against Barcelona and United.
France manager Didier Deschamps has hailed the teenager as the next Laurent Blanc, and Mourinho himself said this week: "He is not yet as good as Blanc, but over time he can become better than him.''
While Madrid are in arguably their best form of the campaign, Celta are enduring a difficult time.
The club sit 18th in the table, two points adrift of safety, having won just once in their last eight La Liga games.
Their last outing ended in a 4-1 humbling at the hands of Sevilla, but they emerged triumphant when they met Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 meeting in the Copa del Rey.
And defender Carlos Bellvis wants Os Celestes to use that victory as inspiration this weekend.
"Real Madrid always makes things difficult for any team, but we have already won against them in the cup, so we do not need to be scared about playing Real Madrid at home.
"We need to pick up points because of how far down we are in the standings, and we will have fight hard for 90 minutes.''
Celta boss Abel Resino is set to be without defender Roberto Lago, who is struggling with the flu, while midfielder Natxo Insa has a hamstring strain.