Real Madrid host Celta Vigo at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium on Saturday evening in hopes of starting off 2021 on a winning note.
Real Madrid begin 2021 with a La Liga meeting with Celta Vigo in matchday 17 at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium. Having ended last year on a streak of six undefeated matches, Zinedine Zidane will look to his men for a win to begin this month positively.
Sergio Ramos misses out on the squad due to an upset stomach which rules him out of the fixture, whereas Rodrygo is another absentee through an injury he suffered prior to Christmas. Los Blancos are likely to go with a strong eleven versus a high-flying side.
Thibaut Courtois will start in goal. He was key for Real Madrid, who conceded less than a goal per game in 2020. The Belgian’s skills may be tested to the limit by the league’s top-scorer in Iago Aspas on Saturday.
Ferland Mendy was afforded a rest against Elche and after a well-deserved off, he will be back in the line-up. Dani Carvajal was clumsy in the second half and conceded a decisive penalty, but he will keep his effectively undisputed place in the starting eleven.
Raphael Varane will continue to play in the heart of defence and will be key in holding a high line in his captain’s absence. Nacho Fernandez will benefit from Ramos’ unavailability and join Varane in the heart of defence.
Casemiro will hold the fort ahead of the defenders and in the absence of Ramos, his aerial abilities will be crucial as well. Toni Kroos will once again be given the nod- he is in superb form. Federico Valverde could start instead of Luka Modric this weekend.
Eden Hazard could finally get a start after returning from injury on Wednesday but Lucas Vazquez who is in a good run of form will continue to play on the right wing. Karim Benzema will play as the striker yet again.