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Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano Preview

February 16, 2013 By Angela Asante
Real Madrid host Rayo Vallecano in the very last fixture of Matchday 24 in the Spanish La Liga. Kick-off time is at 15:00 EST.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos are set to feature for Real Madrid against Rayo Vallecano this weekend.Team news and analysis

For the third straight time since losing away to Granada on February 2, Real Madrid will play at the Santiago Bernabeu. This is where they battered Sevilla 4-1 in the league and drew 1-1 against Manchester United in Europe. In these last two home games, four of Real Madrid’s five goals were scored by one of the club’s highest top scorer in history, Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese attacker is expected to make Jose Mourinho’s First XI which will exclude the likes of forward Gonzalo Higuain, midfielder Luka Modric and defender Alvaro Arbeloa. The trio is suspended.

 

Angel Di Maria seduced the public with energetic runs and inch-perfect crosses against the Red Devils in midweek. The Argentine will be eager to build more confidence with a big role against Rayo Vallecano. Kaka could be picked again for a start as well as Khedira and Callejon while Xabi Alonso and Özil might start the night on the bench following their massive involvement against Man United. 

Raphael Varane has been absolutely outstanding since the beginning of the year. The French youngster is likely to partner with Sergio Ramos and Michael Essien with Pepe deployed more as a defensive midfielder. 

Rayo Vallecano are minnows on paper but their ranking in the Spanish Primera Division table proves that they must not be underestimated. They are fresh from a mighty 2-1 win over Real Madrid’s city rivals, Atletico. Rayo are only nine points and three places adrift Los Blancos. 

With four victories in their last six Spanish La Liga matches, confidence is high within the camp of Sunday’s Bernabeu visitors. They have nothing to lose although they want to maintain in the Europa League zone – and possibly, become surprise UEFA Champions League ticket holders by the end of the season. The team is making the most of its light fixture schedule which features one game per week.

Rayo Vallecano top scorer Piti has scored four of his ten league goals away from home. He will be hoping to add more to this tally at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid have made the league the last of their priorities this season with the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League reaching their climax. Los Blancos have also been very inconsistent in terms of the goal scoring rate. They put four goals past Getafe and Sevilla recently but failed to find the net against Granada during that period. 

Sunday’s match against Rayo Vallecano could produce anything. For a coach under fire like Jose Mourinho, it will be important to appease critics with an excellent result before Real Madrid go on their first one-week break of the year 2013.

Table 

3   Real Madrid 23 14 4 5 58 22 +36 46
4   Málaga 23 11 6 6 36 21 +15 39
5 Valencia 23 11 4 8 32 35 -3 37
6 Rayo Vallecano 23 12 1 10 33 39 -6 37
7 Real Sociedad 23 10 6 7 37 29 +8 36

Real Madrid’s last three La Liga matches

January 27, 2013: Real Madrid 4-0 Getafe
February 2, 2013: Granada 1-0 Real Madrid
February 9, 2013: Real Madrid 4-1 Sevilla

Rayo Vallecano’s last three La Liga matches

January 27, 2013: Rayo Vallecano 3-0 Real Betis
February 3, 2013: Sevilla 2-1 Rayo Vallecano
February 10, 2013: Rayo Vallecano 2-1 Atletico Madrid

Prediction 

Real Madrid 3-1 Rayo Vallecano

  
 

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