Real Madrid welcomes Celta as an old acquaintance returns to the Bernabéu

MADRID.- He real Madrid On Sunday, on the 28th matchday of LaLiga, they host Rafa Benítez’s Celta, former Merengue coach, with the aim of asserting themselves in the leadership, after the setback in Valencia, which Barcelona and Girona did not take advantage of.

The merengue team leads the classification with seven points ahead of Girona, second placed, and eight points ahead of Barcelona, ​​third in the standings.

The 2-2 draw in Valencia prevented the whites from making the leap in the Spanish championship, which they will now try to make on Sunday in the Santiago Bernabeu against a Celta in need of points.

The match will mark the return to the Bernabéu of Rafa Benítez, the Celta coach, who coached Real Madrid for seven months between 2015 and 2016.

Benítez was replaced by Zinedine Zidane who opened an era of unprecedented success for Real Madrid.

The Galician team arrives in Madrid in 17th position in LaLiga, marking salvation and only five points from the relegation places.

“The 100% priority today was to win,” said Benítez, last weekend after beating bottom team Almería 1-0, emphasizing that “we have to keep winning.”

Celta could be favored by the absence at the Santiago Bernabéu of Real Madrid midfielder, Jude Bellingham, who has been suspended for two games after being sent off in the duel against Valencia.

Beyond Real Madrid:

Behind, Girona will host Osasuna on Saturday after losing 1-0 to Mallorca last weekend, wasting Real Madrid’s setback.

The revelation team of the season has been losing momentum in recent days in which it has lost three of its last five games in the Spanish championship.

With Barcelona getting closer and closer, Míchel’s team aims to stay in the top four, which will allow them to accomplish the historic feat of going to the Champions League.

“It is evident that the result of the match is going to condition us for the remainder of the season in the fight for the Champions League, a fight in which we want to be,” said the Girona coach after the match.

Barça also stumbled and could not get past a 0-0 draw with Athletic Club last weekend, before hosting Mallorca on Friday in the first match of the day.

The Barça team will try to react against Mallorca with an eye on the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Napoli on Tuesday in Barcelona.

A victory would encourage Barça, which faces these matches with the absences of Pedri and Frenkie de Jong, injured in Bilbao.