Celta vs Villarreal prediction and analysis
Celta Vigo and Villarreal face each other at the Balaidos Stadium in the opening match of the 17th round of the Spanish La Liga.
On paper, the visitors look like favorites as they are a candidate for the Top 4. While Vigo are close to the relegation zone.
But I don't think we should dismiss the hosts' chances of taking something from the game lightly.
As both Celta and Villarreal are unbeaten since the championship resumed after the World Cup.
As Vigo's streak began even in the last round before the World Cup with a goalless draw away to Rayo Vallecano.
The Sky Blues also remained unbeaten in controls during the break.
For its part, the Yellow Submarine recorded 3 prestigious victories in friendly matches against solid teams:
- 4-3 against Galatasaray
- 1-0 v Aston Villa
- 3-2 against Napoli
Before eliminating two Copa del Rey rivals and beating Valencia and Real Madrid 2-1 each in the Primera Division.
Equal rivals for me. And I think that a draw is a very likely outcome of today's match.
Celta Vigo - statistics and info
Last season, Celta Vigo finished in the middle of the final standings in La Liga.
Although then they won only 16 points in the first 16 rounds.
But subsequently they significantly improved their form and thus guaranteed themselves peace at the end of the campaign.
And in the 2022/23 season , the Sky Blues cannot boast of a very strong start .
Because they have absolutely identical figures after 16 rounds in La Liga.
For the period from October 9th to November 5th, the team from Vigo remained winless in 6 consecutive Primera Division matches, conceding 5 losses.
This prompted the club's bosses to take action.
And since the beginning of November, Celta already has a new manager - the Portuguese Carlos Carvajal.
He managed to stabilize the team, which has been without a loss for 3 rounds in a row (1-2-0).
It became the first 3-match unbeaten run for the Balaidos side this campaign.
Villarreal - statistics and info
Villarreal had an impressive home win over Real Madrid last weekend.
Which was hailed by new manager Quique Setien as "an extraordinary performance against an extraordinary opponent".
Thanks to this success, the Yellow Submarine is again very close to the top 4 in La Liga.
An eventual top-4 finish would take them close to their highest finish since returning to the top flight in 2013/14.
This will be Villarreal's first of four consecutive matches against teams from the bottom half.
So the team has a great opportunity to gain confidence (and points) before the meeting with Barcelona in February.
Setien was sacked by Barca just weeks after a 2-2 draw away to Celta in 2019/20.
So he'll know firsthand that he shouldn't take today's away game lightly.
Although the difference in the standings between the two clubs to date is 11 points .
This will be only his third visit in charge of Villarreal in the Primera Division (1-0-1).
Like his previous visit, he ended a 6-match away winless run in La Liga (0-2-4) with a 1-0 triumph against Espanyol.
Squads and injured footballers
Lineup: Marchesin; Mallo, Mingeza, Aidou, Nunes, Galan; Veiga, Beltran, Cervi; Aspas, Larsen
Composition: Reyna; Foyt, Mandy, P. Torres, A. Moreno; Coquelin, Parejo, Capu; Chukwueze, G. Moreno, Pino
Questionable: Lo Celso, Jackson
Punished: Baena, Albiol
Ranking and Form in the league