Celta Vigo vs Atletico Madrid match preview and predictions for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news, predicted lineups and fantasy football picks as the champions begin their title defence in Galicia.
|Sunday 15th August 2021
|17:30 (local time)
Celta Vigo vs Atletico Madrid Preview
Sunday’s action in LaLiga kicks off at Balaidos where champions Atletico Madrid begin their title defence. It’s not an easy opening game though with Celta Vigo hoping to kick on and make a real challenge for European qualification this season.
There’s no reason why they can’t do that. They improved considerably in 2020/21 under the guidance of Chacho Coudet. He quickly settled on a 4-1-3-2 formation which managed to cram a lot of their attacking talents into the same team. It was a risky ploy initially but holding midfielder Renato Tapia was key in giving the likes of Nolito, Denis Suarez and Brais Mendez the freedom to express themselves and Celta were regularly a good watch as they climbed the table to an 8th place finish.
Any improvement this season should see them qualify for Europe and that will certainly be the aim. Iago Aspas remains very much their key man but the dependency isn’t as great as it once was. They’ve recruited well this summer too with Javi Galan, one of the standout summer purchases across the league. He was very impressive at left-back for relegated Huesca last term and should make his Celta debut here.
As for Atleti, they’ve only made one big summer signing with Rodrigo de Paul arriving from Udinese. He has the quality to be a big hit at the Wanda Metropolitano and will add a bit more attacking dynamism and creativity to their midfield. Despite featuring in Copa America, the Argentine is expected to be handed a debut here from the off.
Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same again from an Atleti point of view, although they have had a number of players feature heavily during the summer tournaments, so it might not necessarily be their strongest lineup in this game. Diego Simeone’s men clinched the 2020/21 title in Valladolid on the final weekend and will feel they have a real chance of defending their crown with uncertainties again surrounding their two main rivals.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 2 Atletico Madrid Wins, 1 Celta Vigo Wins, 3 Draws.
- Atleti are unbeaten in the last 5 meetings.
- They were held to a 2-2 draw by Celta at the Wanda Metropolitano in the most recent clash in February.
- Diego Simeone’s side have won on 3 of their last 5 trips to Balaidos, losing here just once in 2018.
Celta are expected to be at full strength. Javi Galan should make his debut at left-back.
Joao Felix is out injured for Atleti. Hector Herrera and Felipe are also doubts.
Predicted Celta Starting Lineup:
Blanco – Galan, Aidoo, Araujo, Mallo – Tapia – Nolito, Suarez, Mendez – Aspas, Mina (4-1-3-2)
Predicted Atleti Starting Lineup:
Oblak – Hermoso, Gimenez, Savic – Carrasco, De Paul, Llorente, Koke, Trippier – Correa, Suarez (3-5-2)
Celta Vigo vs Atletico Madrid Predictions
Score Prediction: Celta 1-1 Atleti
This is a tough game to have at any time for Atleti but with players not quite up to full fitness yet after summer exertions, they may struggle to record maximum points in Vigo. Celta are a team to look out for this year and they have the quality to ask questions of a strong Atleti defence. This one could end level.
Fantasy Football Picks
We’ll have to wait and see what Diego Simeone does here in terms of team selection. He may leave a number of his internationals out but Mario Hermoso is one guy who should definitely start having not featured for Spain at Euro 2020. His ball carrying qualities make him an attractive option on Sorare. Iago Aspas will keep him busy though and if Celta do get on the scoresheet, there’s a very strong possibility he will either be the provider or scorer, having registered 14 goals and 13 assists in LaLiga last term.