Celta Vigo - Real Madrid - Sun 20.00 GMT
Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez’s late winner for Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid in Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final second leg sent Los Blancos through to the last four, while also disguising that Madrid had not played too well, and really missed injured players Luka Modric, Karim Benzema and [to a lesser extent perhaps] Gareth Bale.
None of that trio are likely to be back for Sunday evening’s trip to Celta Vigo, with Chicharito likely to remain up front. Marcelo should return at left-back, but Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti has few attractive options to freshen up his side. Sergio Ramos will surely return to centre-back after playing centrally against Atletico, so Asier Illarramendi is most likely to start in Modric’s midfield position.
Eduardo Berizzo’s intensive pressing style has caused all La Liga’s big sides trouble this season. Celta beat Barcelona at the Camp Nou, and really worried the La Liga leaders at Balaidos in early April, before a late header from blaugrana defender Jeremy Mathieu won that game. That is the Galicians’ only defeat in their last five in La Liga - with their most recent home outing bringing a 6-1 win over Rayo Vallecano. Atletico Madrid were also beaten 2-0 in Vigo earlier this year.
So this looks one of the most difficult tests Madrid could have at this stage, given their absences and the emotion of Wednesday night. Unless Cristiano Ronaldo has one of his big games, Celta look quite likely to get a point at least.
Predicted result: Celta 1-1 Real Madrid at 8.50
Best bet: Draw at 4.33