Celta Vigo vs Real Sociedad: Crucial La Liga Encounter at Estadio Municipal de Balaidos
The encounter at Estadio Municipal de Balaidos between Celta Vigo and Real Sociedad is more than a regular La Liga match; it's a crucial battle in their quests for league security and higher positions in Spain's top flight.
Celta Vigo is set to host Real Sociedad in a La Liga match that holds considerable importance for both sides' league ambitions.
Celta Vigo enters this match with a sense of urgency. Currently positioned 16th in the league and just two points clear of the relegation zone, Rafael Benitez's team has shown some resilience with a four-game unbeaten run. Their recent performances in 2024, including a Copa del Rey triumph and a draw against Mallorca, signal a potential turnaround. However, their struggle at home, where they have one of the worst records in the league, remains a concern.
Real Sociedad, occupying the sixth spot, also faces challenges in their pursuit of a top-four finish. Their recent loss to Athletic Bilbao has created a gap that they are eager to close. Despite the setback, Real Sociedad's European Cup progress and consistent record against Celta Vigo in recent La Liga matches provide a glimmer of hope.
This weekend's match is a crucial juncture for both teams, with Celta Vigo aiming to improve their home record and Real Sociedad looking to regain their league momentum.
Celta Vigo deals with several absentees, including Franco Cervi and Carl Starfelt due to injuries, and Jonathan Bamba on international duty. Anastasios Douvikas, despite his recent brace, is expected to start on the bench, with Iago Aspas and Jorgen Strand Larsen leading the attack.
Real Sociedad also faces squad limitations. Martin Merquelanz is injured, and Takefusa Kubo is away at the Asian Cup. Hamari Traore's participation in the Africa Cup of Nations further depletes their options. However, Alex Remiro's return from suspension and the presence of key players like Mikel Oyarzabal and Ander Barrenetxea bolster their lineup.
Celta Vigo's potential lineup includes Guaita; Mingueza, Jailson, U Nunez, Dominguez, Sanchez; Perez, Tapia, Dotor; Aspas, Larsen. Real Sociedad may field Remiro; Odriozola, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Tierney; Mendez, Zubimendi, Merino; Zakharyan, Oyarzabal, Barrenetxea.