Preview: Celta Vigo vs. Real Sociedad – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s La Liga clash between Celta Vigo and Real Sociedad, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Celta Vigo will be bidding to continue their strong run of form when they welcome Real Sociedad to the Estadio Municipal de Balaidos in Spain’s top flight on Saturday evening.

The home side are currently 16th in the La Liga table, boasting 17 points from their opening 20 matches of the season, while Real Sociedad sit sixth, nine points behind fourth-placed Barcelona.

Match preview

© Reuters

Celta will bring a four-game unbeaten run into this match, and they booked their spot in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey last time out courtesy of a 3-1 success over Valencia at Mestalla.

The Sky Blues have picked up four points from their two La Liga matches this year, meanwhile, recording a 2-1 victory over Real Betis before drawing 1-1 with Mallorca last weekend.

Rafael Benitez‘s side are currently 16th in the La Liga table, boasting a record of three wins, eight draws and nine defeats from 20 matches, which has seen them collect 17 points.

Celta are only two points clear of the relegation zone, but their performances in 2024 have been strong, and they now have back-to-back home fixtures against Real Sociedad and Girona to finish the month.

Benitez’s team actually have the third-worst home record in La Liga this season, only picking up 10 points from their 10 matches in front of their own supporters, but Real Sociedad have only managed to triumph in three of their 10 games on their travels during the current La Liga campaign.

© Reuters

Real Sociedad, meanwhile, were also victorious in the last-16 stage of the Copa del Rey, securing their spot in the final eight courtesy of a 2-0 success over Osasuna.

Imanol Alguacil‘s side lost 2-1 to Athletic Bilbao in the Basque derby in La Liga last weekend, though, with the result leaving them in sixth position in the table on 32 points from 20 matches.

Real Sociedad are six points behind fifth-placed Atletico Madrid and nine points behind fourth-placed Barcelona, so it is going to be difficult for them to claim a Champions League finish this term unless their form improves, as there have been too many draws (eight) in the league this term.

The White and Blues impressively qualified for the last-16 stage of the European Cup, though, and they will take on Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of that tie in Paris on February 14.

Real Sociedad are unbeaten in their last seven La Liga matches against Celta, recording five wins in the process, although the last two meetings between the two sides have finished level, including a 1-1 draw in the reverse match back in August 2023.

Celta Vigo La Liga form:

Celta Vigo form (all competitions):

Real Sociedad La Liga form:

Real Sociedad form (all competitions):

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Team News

Real Sociedad's Takefusa Kubo on October 24, 2023© Reuters

Celta will be without the services of three players through injury, with Franco Cervi, Carl Starfelt and Joseph Aidoo unavailable for selection on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Jonathan Bamba is away with the Ivory Coast squad at the Africa Cup of Nations, and Ivan Villar remains out of contention due to a suspension.

Anastasios Douvikas put himself in Benitez’s thinking in terms of a start with a brace against Valencia in the Copa del Rey last time out, but he is likely to be among the substitutes for the first whistle here, with Iago Aspas and Jorgen Strand Larsen set to feature as the front two.

As for Real Sociedad, Martin Merquelanz is on the sidelines through injury, while Takefusa Kubo is representing Japan at the Asian Cup.

Hamari Traore is also unavailable for selection, as the defender is with the Mali squad at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Alex Remiro has served a suspension and will return between the sticks, while Mikel Oyarzabal is set to continue as the centre-forward, with Ander Barrenetxea, who is currently being linked with both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, set to operate off the left.

Brais Mendez will return to the side after starting on the bench against Osasuna in the Copa del Rey, while Umar Sadiq is in contention after making his return from injury as a substitute in the same match.

Celta Vigo possible starting lineup:
Guaita; Mingueza, Jailson, U Nunez, Dominguez, Sanchez; Perez, Tapia, Dotor; Aspas, Larsen

Real Sociedad possible starting lineup:
Remiro; Odriozola, Zubeldia, Le Normand, Tierney; Mendez, Zubimendi, Merino; Zakharyan, Oyarzabal, Barrenetxea

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We say: Celta Vigo 1-2 Real Sociedad

Celta’s confidence will have increased due to their recent strong run of form, and Real Sociedad will be missing a couple of important players this weekend. The Basque outfit will be fired-up to return to winning ways in the league, though, and we are backing them to edge a close contest here.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data

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