Celta de Vigo vs Atlético Madrid preview: Madrid to continue unbeaten return and consolidate third place
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 03: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Joao Felix of Atletico de Madrid controls the ball during the Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and RCD Mallorca at Wanda Metropolitano on July 3, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Berengui/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Third place Atlético Madrid face 16th place Celta de Vigo as Madrid aim to maintain their lead ahead of fourth place Sevillia. Three points would aid Vigo in the bottom half of the table ensure they can avoid the drop. 

Athletico are unbeaten in seven games since La Liga's return to action in June, winning five games and drawing only two (against Barcelona and Bilbao).

Vigo have only managed two wins in what has been a perplexing return to action for the Célticos, which has seen them thrash a ten man Deportivo Alavés side 6-0, draw 2-2 at home to second place Barcelona, but lose 5-1 to the struggling Mallorca (who sit 18th in the league). 

Key Battles

João Félix has had an interesting season, after signing from Benfica for £113m has shown glimpses of his huge potential in what could be described as a frustrating first season at Madrid.  Despite this, Félix is the clubs second top scorer with eight goals and two assists and will look to lead the line alongside Alvaro Morata. They will however be met with Celta's rock at the back, Jeison Murillo. The Columbian defender has kept a remarkable seven clean sheets in 15 league appearances this season, conceding 0.79 goals per 90 minutes (via FootyStats). Murillo will be looking to add another clean sheet to his record and shut out Félix and co.

Previous Meetings

Madrid have won three of their previous five encounters with Celta, losing one and drawing in their most recent meeting together 0-0. The game was fairly uneventful, Atlético slightly edged Vigo for possession, enjoying 52% of the ball. Surprisingly, Madrid managed 16 shots throughout the game, four of which were on target - compared to Vigo's three shots, with two on target.

Team News

Vigo will be without Nestor Araujo who is suspended after receiving a yellow card in Celta's 1-1 draw on the weekend to Betis. They'll also be without Denis Suarez, David Junca and Sergio Alarez - all of which are sidelined with injuries. 

Madrid's Diego Costa will miss the game after accumulating his 5th yellow card of the season. Šime Vrsaljko is Athleti's only other absentee with a knee injury.

Predicted Line-up

Vigo: Blanco; Mallo, Murillo, Aidoo, Olaza; Nolito, Rafinha, Yokuslu, Beltran, Aspas; Smolov (4-5-1).

Atlético: Oblak; Trippier, Gimenez, Savic, Lodi; Koke, Saul, Thomas, Correa; Morata, Félix (4-4-2).

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