Real Madrid must have been hoping to go into the final game of the Champions League group stage, against Celtic, already having secured top spot. It had seemed like it was heading in that direction as well, after they won their first three games of the campaign. Unfortunately, there has been a downturn in their form since then.
Los Blancos could only manage a draw against Shakhtar Donetsk, and that too thanks to a heroic equaliser from Antonio Rudiger later on. That was followed by a defeat at the hands of RB Leipzig.
Those two results mean that while Real Madrid are guaranteed to make the last 16 of the competition, they still have the top spot to play for. Their final group stage game is against Celtic, who are already out of the competition and will be playing for pride.
Real Madrid have their problems heading into the game though. As reported by Marca, they trained this Monday without Karim Benzema and Aurelien Tchouameni, who remain doubtful for the match against Celtic.
Real Madrid handed double injury problem before Celtic game
It is safe to say that Real Madrid have to be considered as the favourites against Celtic, even if they end up missing Benzema and Tchouameni.
At the same time though, they cannot make the mistake of taking Celtic lightly. At Parkhead, they arguably outplayed Real Madrid in the first 45 minutes of the game, before the European champions took control in the second half and secured a 3-0 victory.
While Ange Postecoglou’s side have not won a game in the group stage this season, their performances have been impressive and they have been let down by their finishing. Without the pressure of having to qualify, they might play more freely at Santiago Bernabeu. On the other hand, the pressure is on Real Madrid to top the group.