Predicted XI

Hazard to make first start since November – How Real Madrid could line-up against Celta

Real Madrid can go top the top of La Liga if they win against Celta - but they will have to do so without injured captain Sergio Ramos.

10:36am on Saturday 2nd January 2021
Robin Bairner

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane is set to hand Eden Hazard his first start since November as he aims to get his side back on track against Celta on Saturday.

Madrid wrapped up their 2020 schedule on Wednesday against Elche but were only able to secure a 1-1 draw, despite taking the lead midway through the first half through Luka Modric.

It is a result that leaves them two points off the pace of league leaders Atletico Madrid, who have played two games fewer.

Los Blancos, however, will go top of the standings if they overcome Celta, with Atleti not in action until Sunday, when they go to Alaves. It is a result Zidane’s side need to exert pressure onto their rivals.

With that in mind, he is set to hand Belgium international Hazard his first start since he was withdrawn in the first half in a clash against Alaves at the end of November.

Since then, Hazard has missed six games, not including the 2-0 win over Granada he watched from the bench. He returned with a cameo against Elche last time out and Zidane feels confident to start him in this clash. Lucas Vazquez will be the player to drop out.

While the midfield three are expected to stay untouched, there will be two changes in the defence.

Most notable of these is captain Sergio Ramos dropping out because of stomach problems. Nacho will take his place alongside Raphael Varane. Meanwhile, Ferland Mendy will replace Marcelo at left-back, with the veteran Brazil star dropping to the bench.

Celta are a side in form, having won four of their last five matches to climb to eighth in the standings. Iago Aspas is their player to watch as he is the Primera Division’s top scorer on nine goals, one clear of Madrid’s Karim Benzema.

Real Madrid v Celta: Predicted XI

Real Madrid - Football tactics and formations

Latest news


What are the Premier League VAR changes for the 2021-22 season?

Inspired by the performance at the Euros, the Premier League have announced sweeping changes to their application of the system

  • 1 day
Player Ratings

England 1-1 Italy (2-3 pens) Player Ratings: Azzurri seal Euro 2020 glory

Italy beat England 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the final of Euro 2020 to seal their first major title since the 2006 World Cup.

  • 2 weeks
Predicted XI

Saka or Sancho to start? How Italy and England could line up for Euro 2020 final

Roberto Mancini and Gareth Southgate are unlikely to diverge from their winning tactics ahead of a tight Euro 2020 final

  • 2 weeks
Player Ratings

England 2-1 Denmark Player Ratings: Kane the hero as Denmark dream is over

The game between England and Denmark at Wembley went to extra time, but the Three Lions booked their place in the final

  • 2 weeks
Player Ratings

Italy 1-1 Spain (4-2) Player Ratings: The Azzurri reach Euro 2020 final after incredible Chiesa strike

In a truly remarkable semi-final between Italy and Spain the eventual finalist was decided by penalties after 120 minutes of football.

  • 3 weeks
Predicted XI

Euro 2020 team news: How England and Denmark could line up

A place in the European Championship final is up for grabs, but who will Gareth Southgate and Kasper Hjulmand pick in their starting XI?

  • 3 weeks

Most read