Celta de Vigo coach Abel Resino believes that the only way of stopping Real Madrid in their tracks on Sunday is by paralyzing their counter-attacking capability.
"The key to beating Real Madrid is to ensure that their players do not feel comfortable, you really have to harry them off the ball, close them down at every opportunity and perhaps the most important thing of all is to make a s few mistakes as possible when taking the ball forward, because if they regain possession, they can surprise you on the break", Abel told reporters in Saturday's pre-match press conference.
"Madrid can destroy you on the break. They only need two or three touches to be clean through on goal. We must be extra careful not to leave them too much space to run into as that is when they are at their most dangerous", the coach added.
Abel rejected the idea that Celta will find themselves up against a more relaxed Real Madrid side in the wake of their recent triumphs over Barcelona and Manchester United. "The big teams never relax; they always go out to compete and to win. The title race is complicated for them because it's difficult to claw back 13 points from the 12 games which remain. But in football, you never know what will happen and you can be surprised - Barça are not in their best moment of form right now and that gives Madrid the chance to put pressure on them".
Abel has named a 20-man squad for the game. Injury rules out Samuel Llorca, Hugo Mallo and Natxo Insa but left-back Roberto Lago has shaken off a flu virus and could make his return to the starting line-up after missing last week's defeat to Sevilla.
The full Celta list reads:
Goalkeepers: Javi Varas and Sergio Álvarez.
Defenders: Jonny, Lago, Bellvís, Demidov, Túñez, Cabral and Vila.
Midfielders: Alex López, Oubiña, Quique de Lucas, Toni, Augusto, Krohn-Dehli, Orellana and Pranjic
Forwards: Bermejo, Iago Aspas and Park.