Real Madrid-Celta Vigo Preview: Ancelotti set to recall rested stars to prolong winning run

The European champions have set a club record by emerging victorious from their last 17 matches in all competitions and will be confident of keeping it going on Saturday

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti insists his side are not thinking about their winning run ahead of Saturday’s clash with Celta Vigo.

Real are currently in the midst of a club record 17-game winning streak in all competitions – form that has seen them storm to the top of La Liga and cruise through the Champions League group stages.

The good news just keeps coming for Real, too, with talented 21-year-old Jese Rodriguez making his return from a serious knee injury – and scoring – in Tuesday’s 5-0 Copa del Rey victory over third-tier Cornella.

Jese, who had not played since March, came through the ranks at Real and scored eight goals in 31 appearances last term.

Ancelotti said Jese’s progression would be treated cautiously and he does not expect him to feature when Real bid to make it 18 straight wins at the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend.

Ahead of the match, the Italian coach is quoted as saying on the club’s official website: “We never thought about the record and we haven’t given it any thought since.

“We have another important game against Celta and we want to stay top of La Liga, which is our objective.

“We are happy that the run is still alive and we will work to keep it going as long as we can.”

Meanwhile, Cristiano Ronaldo is running rampant and the Portuguese star – nominated for the Ballon d’Or award this week – has 20 goals in 12 league matches.

Indeed, only five teams have scored more Liga goals than Ronaldo this season.

Celta are not one of them, having notched 17 in their 13 fixtures – which have brought five wins, five draws and three defeats.

Consecutive league defeats have seen Celta lose ground on the likes of Villarreal and Malaga, with Eduardo Berizzo’s side sitting eighth.

And their poor form was highlighted in a 2-1 Copa del Rey loss to second-tier Las Palmas in the first leg of their last 32-clash on Tuesday.

Joaquin Larrivey was an unused substitute in the defeat but the Argentinian looms as Celta’s most likely threat, with seven goals in 13 Liga matches this season.

Celta beat Real 2-0 the last time the sides met in May, and they also toppled the European champions in a Copa del Rey clash in December 2012.

Real have won the last three clashes they have hosted, though, with Ronaldo scoring twice in the corresponding Liga fixture last term. 

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12 2014
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