Liverpool and PSG tried in vain to beat Real Madrid in the race for 100 million euros
Real Madrid couldn’t have asked for a smoother start to the campaign. Despite a relatively eventful first game against Almeria, Los Blancos came back strong to dominate their next three matches.
They are currently top of the La Liga table with a perfect score of 12 points after four games. Moreover, they have already won their first trophy of the season in the form of the UEFA Super Cup.
Carlo Ancelotti could not have dreamed of a better time to kick off the UEFA Champions League campaign. The men in white are in good spirits and will look to continue their good run on Tuesday night when they take on Celtic in their first Group F encounter.
Madrid Universal brings you three talking points ahead of the game in Glasgow on Tuesday night.
1. Unlock a new objective
Few gave Real Madrid a chance to go all the way in Europe last season. The Men in White were thought to be in a transition period and pre-season expectations weren’t as high.
As the year progressed, it became increasingly clear that Los Blancos were in no way inferior to their European competitors. One by one they knocked out the best teams in Europe simply with their never say never mentality.
Chelsea, PSG and Manchester City were all in better positions against Carlo Ancelotti’s side at different stages of their clash. However, Real Madrid have found a way to make a successful comeback.
Now they enter the new edition of the Champions League as defending champions. With that status comes the pressure of being favourites, and it remains to be seen if the team can continue their top performances without the underdog label.
Los Blancos are in Group F alongside RB Leipzig, Celtic and Shakhtar Donetsk. The group isn’t the toughest and the Spanish champions should finish comfortably on top.
Real Madrid’s title defense begins in Glasgow on Tuesday night, and they will be looking to make a solid first step into the competition. Still, the manager can’t afford to underestimate his opposition of the night.
2. A fit opposition
The reigning Scottish champions are not lucky Champions League contenders. Celtic are one of only five clubs in the world to have won over 100 trophies in their history, including 52 domestic league titles. They were also no strangers to European success, winning the UCL in 1967.
If one took a look at the recent form of Ange Postecoglou, the sight would be terrifying. The Scottish giants haven’t dropped a point in their last eight games in all competitions. The last time they suffered a loss was in mid-April and the streak has lasted 18 games.
It’s safe to say that the Scottish League doesn’t offer the same level as other major European leagues, but the stats are an indication of the team’s winning mentality. Real Madrid are no stranger to upsets in the UCL group stages and will have to be wary of the threat from Celtic.
Liel Abada and Kyogo Furuhashi have been in excellent form for the Hoops, scoring six goals each this season. The former found the back of the net every 46 minutes. In midfield, Matt O’Riley has been a machine and has five assists to his name.
The Scottish champions have scored a ridiculous 17 goals in their last three games and 24 in their last five. It goes without saying that Ancelotti cannot take the draw at Celtic Park for granted.
3. To turn or not to turn
Considering the team played against Real Betis less than 72 hours ago, the manager will be tempted to reshuffle his cards. However, the question remains – to what extent?
Antonio Rudiger was benched for the game this weekend and has a good chance to start on Tuesday. He could slot into a centre-back duo with Eder Militao with David Alaba at left-back.
In midfield, Aurélien Tchouameni and Toni Kroos should retain their starting positions. However, Luka Modric could get a deserved rest with Eduardo Camavinga in his place.
The dynamics of the attack should not change drastically. Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior are an integral part of the team and will not be benched under any circumstances. Third place in attack could once again be given to Rodrygo, especially after his game-changing performance against Los Verdiblancos.
The key to success lies in the right balance between youth and experience. With the schedule starting to get tight, it is now up to Ancelotti to play his cards wisely.
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