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Celta Vigo have undoubtedly been the surprise package in La Liga so far this season, as Eduardo Berrizzo’s side sit fourth in the table, just seven points adrift of leaders Barcelona.
The excellent form of defender Hugo Mallo just epitomizes Celta’s climb to the higher regions of Spain’s top tier. Mallo has enjoyed a very fruitful campaign, in defence and on the attack. The 24-year-old right-back has three assists to his name – the same as the likes of Lukas Modric and Luis Suarez – and he’s put in many outstanding displays in the heart of Os Celticos’ defence.
Ever-present and in top form
The former Spain U21 international has stacked up an impressive 159 league appearances for Celta Vigo, after breaking into their first-team in 2009. This season, the defender has really come of age – he’s been one of the league’s most consistent full-backs, and has started in all but one for Celta’s 15 La Liga games.
After suffering a serious injury which kept him out of a large chunk of the 2013-14 season, it’s a credit to Mallo for coming back stronger and better than ever. The full-back has now fully recovered from the setback and has knocked his level of performance up a notch or two.
It will very interesting to see how far Hugo Mallo, and indeed Celta Vigo can go this campaign. After suffering just three La Liga defeats so far, as well as beating Barcelona 4-1 in late September, Berizzo’s troops are showing no signs of letting up at present.
Back on track
After suffering back-to-back defeats to Valencia and Deportivo La Coruna last month, Celta hit back in the best possible style, winning three and drawing one of their subsequent four games in all competitions.
As previously mentioned, Os Celticos’ rise to the top four has had a lot to do with Hugo Mallo’s fine form this term. The Celta supporters will be hoping they can keep on the tails of the big three – Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid – but nobody can deny that Celta Vigo have been the best of the rest so far this campaign.
Written by Gareth Hinton
Follow Gareth on Twitter @Galccfc
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