Real Madrid’s provisional coach, Santiago Solari, will hope to increase his chances of securing his tenure at the helm if he successfully completes the difficult Liga game against Celta Vigo on Sunday.
The visit to the Municipal Stadium of Balaídos represents the most difficult test so far of the brief reign of Solari, after having won the three games played since the former Argentinean center-fielder replaced the deposed Julen Lopetegui.
However, Madrid, sixth in the table and seven points behind Barça, leader of the classification, has a history of suffering in the intimidating stadium of the Galician team and only took a draw to two after his visit to Vigo of the season pass.
Spanish media suggest that a victory would complete an impressive audition for the role and end with a rise of the Argentine, but Solari insists that is focused on the three points rather than their future.
“I can only think about the next game, to all intents and purposes, and it seems good to me,” he told a news conference. “I can only see the next link in the chain and the most important thing is the next game (…) we have to put all our strength and energy into it”.
“Football is present, it’s a cliché but that’s the way it is. All energy is dedicated to the next game. Not bad as philosophy. We’ll see later. ”
In another of Sunday’s games, Barcelona will welcome Real Betis with the aim of maintaining the rhythm of their defense of the title, without it being known if the Catalans will recover the injured Lionel Messi for the match.
The striker broke his arm last month and, although he was not missed in the Clásico’s comfortable victory against Madrid, he did notice his absence in the last minute victory against humble Rayo Vallecano last week.
Messi traveled to Milan with his teammates for the Champions League match with Inter but was ruled out for the match, after which Barça qualified for the knockout stages of the competition.
“It is not the same to play a workout, where the movements are controlled, to play a game with intensity, in which you do not know what can happen and any race can suffer damage. We decided that it was better not to take risks, “said coach Ernesto Valverde.
“The objective that you always make is to add three points,” added Valverde. “We always want to maintain possession and have control of the game. It’s good because the team is demonstrating its worth. ”
It will also be an interesting weekend for the following ones in the table since a single point separates the second from the fifth classified.
Atlético de Madrid, fourth, will host Athletic Bilbao on Saturday night. Already on Sunday, the Alavés, fifth classified, will receive the bottom club Huesca, while Sevilla, third, will then receive Espanyol, second in the table.
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