In the second Galician Derby of the season, Celta de Vigo will play hosts to Deportivo La Coruna at the Estadio de Balaidos. This is an important match for both clubs for different reasons. For Celta, they are in the first Europa League position, but it’s tight at that end of the table. A loss could take them out of a European competition altogether as Sevilla and Athletic Club are right on their heels.
For today’s hosts, their season has been inconsistent. They will go on a nice winning streak before dropping points two or three straight matches. This, in fact, happened recently. They didn’t pick up three points against Villarreal or Real Madrid. But in the match against the capital club, Celta suffered one of their worst losses of the season. It took Real 43 minutes before they found the back of the net, but once they did, the flood gates opened. Cristiano Ronaldo scored four goals while Pepe, Jese and Gareth Bale rounded up the scoring.
But their last match against Valencia, though, was much improved. They battled the entire first half at La Mestalla, hardly letting the hosts of that match get near the eighteen yard box. And then, in the second half, Celta punished Los Che, scoring two goals in four minutes. The first goal came off of the foot of John Guidetti who finished off an excellent team move. Then Hugo Mallo clinched the three points in the 84th minute.
Deportivo La Coruna, after a promising start to the season, have not been able to regain their form. They finally won three points for the first time before the international break after 13 matches without a win. That victory will have surely pleased Victor Sánchez as the squad’s confidence will have increased heading into the international break.
Luis Alberto opened the scoring for his club with two minutes remaining in the opening half. But then Getafe answered early in the closing stanza when Giuseppe Rossi beat Germán Darío. With five minutes to go, however, Diego Mariño found the back of his own net, gifting Deportivo all three points.
There are two men in the final third of the pitch that Deportivo La Coruna needs to watch out for and they are Nolito and Iago Aspas. The duo have combined to score 20 of Celta’s 43 goals – nearly half of the total. It’s bad enough having to focus on one premier goal scorer, but when there are two that can find the back of the net at any given moment, the opposition’s defense needs to be focused at all times.
The former Liverpool man, Alberto, will be leading the line once more for Celta de Vigo. He has been in fine form in front of goal this season. Luis Alberto leads his side with in goals scored with six in 19 matches played. For only completing the full 90 minutes five times in the league, that is a good output. It means that he if efficient when he gets the ball inside the area and can threaten any goalkeeper in the league.
While neither side is going to challenge the bigger clubs the rest of the season, derby matches always bring a lot of intensity, and often times, form goes out the window. But looking at their perspective performances over the last couple of weeks, it seems as if Celta de Vigo will be able to beat Deportivo La Coruna with ease, especially in front of their own supporters.