Real Madrid will look to match all-time Barcelona’s record of 18 consecutive straight wins as they host Celta on Saturday.
Los Blancos recorded a club record 16th consecutive wins in all competitions last week against Malaga, and made it 17 by trashing third-division side Cornella in the Copa del Rey. Now, they face the challenge of beaten Frank Rijkaard’s all-time record.
Carlo Ancelotti was able to finally give some rest to his most important players against Cornella, so Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale are expected to return to action in better shape.
The Italian manager will miss Sami Khedira, who is recovering from a head injury, and Isco, who was shown two yellow cards in the last game. Madrid went to the Appeal Committee, but the Andalusian’s second yellow was not revoked. Luka Modric also remains in the sidelines, while Jese Rodriguez could make his La Liga return after playing his first minutes in nine months last Tuesday.
Celta are having a difficult run after a promising start to the season. They’ve lost their last three games, and have only earned one point in four matches. Manager Eduardo Berizzo also rested a few key players in the Copa and will look to upset Real Madrid at their own stadium just like they did with Barcelona last month.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo; Bale, Kroos, Illarramendi, James; Benzema, Ronaldo.
Celta: Alvarez; Mallo, Cabral, Fontas, Jonny; Lopez, Radoja, Krohn-Dehli; Orellana, Larrivey, Nolito.