Solari’s first big test. Solari’s final big test?
Real Madrid head north to Vigo today in search of their fourth straight win with Santiago Solari at the helm – and it could make or break the decision over his long-term future.
Los Blancos need to name a new permanent successor to Julen Lopetegui early next week and the result at Balaídos could be crucial in the decision making process.
As things stand, the former Castilla boss has won all three of his matches in charge – with his side scoring 11 goals and conceding zero – but the trip to face Celta will provide the Argentina with his biggest test in his so-far short time at the helm.
On paper, trips to Melilla and Viktoria Plzen, in the Copa del Rey and Champions League respectively, with a home Liga match against Real Valladolid in-between, should have all resulted in victories – and they did. Celta will provide a much tougher opposition, however, especially on home soil.
Madrid could only muster a point from their trip to Galicia last season, with Gareth Bale scoring both of Los Blancos’ goals in a 2-2 draw, and although Celta’s form so far this season has been indifferent, the Galicians always raise their game for the visits of LaLiga’s biggest teams.
Madrid also had the midweek trip to the Czech Republic to halt their preparations for the match, meaning the visitors will be up against it come 20:45 CET.
The powers-that-be at the Santiago Bernabéu will have to make a decision on a permanent manager in the coming days. Perhaps Solari has already been touted for that role, not solely because of results but because of the lack of options to replace Lopetegui. With the latter in mind, the result in Vigo may count for little in the final decision unless Madrid take a heavy defeat.
The result should offer a look into how the rest of the season will pan out for Los Blancos, however. All eyes on Vigo.