What can we expect from Rayo Vallecano v Barcelona?
Rayo Vallecano have won only of their last 13 games. Barcelona will walk out of the dressing room determined, especially as some players on the night have a point to prove. The Catalans are expected to win on their recent form, but Rayo’s tight defence will ensure a low-scoring thriller.
What is Rayo Vallecano’s position in La Liga?
Rayo Vallecano are currently in 14th place in the La Liga standings and have slumped after a strong start to their campaign. The Madrid-based outfit edged Espanyol to a crucial 1-0 victory last week and will need to work hard to achieve a similar result in this fixture.
How important is Xavi’s game against Rayo Vallecano for Real Madrid?
After returning to winning ways against Real Sociedad, Xavi’s men take on Rayo Vallecano to cover up one of their games in hand. The result may not count for much on the league table, but it will be crucial for the team’s morale.
What is the difference between Vallecano and Barcelona’s last six games?
Vallecano have won four and lost two of their last six games. Barcelona have won three and lost three of their last six games. Vallecano have scored 12 goals and conceded seven in their last six games. Barcelona have scored eight goals and conceded eight in their last six games.
Despite fighting back from two goals down to seemingly rescue a point against Real Betis – with Randy Nteka and Alvaro Garcia finding the back of the net – Willian Jose ‘s penalty 15 minutes from time condemned Vallecano to their second defeat from three La Liga fixtures at the weekend.
Vallecano winger Martin Merquelanz – on loan from Real Sociedad – is expected to be the hosts’ only absentee this week, with the 26-year-old still recovering from a serious knee injury.
We say: Rayo Vallecano 1-2 Barcelona
Despite their remarkable winning streak in this fixture, Barcelona’s dismal away form coupled with Vallecano’s strong home displays should make for a much closer encounter than history would suggest.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.
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Rayo Vallecano vs Barcelona latest odds
The hosts have the best home record in the division this season winning all four of their matches in front of their own fans and boasting a +10 goal difference.
Rayo Vallecano vs Barcelona first goalscorer
Sergio Aguero scored his first goal for the Catalans with practically the last kick of the game against Real Madrid on Sunday and the Argentine is offered at 4/1 (5.00) to net first in Vallecas.
Rayo Vallecano vs Barcelona preview
Rayo are the second top scorers in La Liga with only Real Madrid bettering their total of 17 strikes this season and Iraola’s team are an attacking and exciting outfit.
Rayo Vallecano vs Barcelona tips and predictions
Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals is priced at evens (2.00) and looks like an unmissable bet in what should be an exciting encouter.
Rayo Vallecano vs Barcelona Head-to-head
In 21 matches between the sides, the Vallecas side has won only thrice, a further 3 matches have ended in a draw.
Rayo Vallecano vs Barcelona Prediction & Analysis
The Red Sashes were last seen in a closely contested match against Real Betis on the road. The match ended 3-2 in favour of the hosts. In their last home game, they captured all 3 points against Elche in a 2-1 scoreline.
Key Stats for Betting
Both the losses for the Catalan club have come against teams in the top 4 of the table who are also the champions of Spain in the preceding 2 seasons.
Between their big signings, loyal fanbase and momentum from being promoted, it shouldn’t be too much of a shock that Rayo Vallecano are flying high right now. The Madrid-based side have grown into something of a yo-yo team with their biggest attribute being, ironically, their insanely good home form.
The loss to Real Madrid on Sunday would’ve had most believing that Ronald Koeman is on the verge of leaving the club but instead, they’ve opted to keep him on – for the time being, at least.
Sometimes, when a big club is on the ropes, it can lure their opponents into a false sense of security – and that’s what we expect to see when Rayo Vallecano host Barcelona. Both sides have some really strong attacking options which is why both teams to score would be a smart bet, but they’re also a bit leaky at the back.
Barcelona are looking to continue their march in the Copa del Rey when they lock horns with Rayo Vallecano at Estadio de Vallecas on Wednesday
With Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid both knocked out of Copa del Rey, Barcelona will feel they have an excellent chance of winning the competition this season. In fact, securing the cup could be a necessity for Ronald Koeman’s whose side is unlikely to catch up with league leaders Atleti in La Liga.
Team News & Tactics
Rayo Vallecano head coach Andoni Iraola primarily likes to play with a 4-2-3-1 formation and things are unlikely to change this time around. It could, in fact, mirror Barca’s preferred shape, though we do expect the attacking midfielder in Oscar Trejo to operate deeper and assist the two central midfielders in the second line of press.
Barcelona are the top-scorers in La Liga this season, netting 39 goals in just 19 matches. Their closest competitors, Atletico Madrid, have scored three fewer though they have played a fewer match as well.
Player to Watch
Ronald Araujo has arguably been the most impressive player for Barcelona in recent weeks. Since the injury to Gerard Pique earlier in the campaign, the young defender has really stepped up to the plate. He has most notably starred in the last round triumph against Cornella while also playing a key role in the recent win over Elche CF.
Barcelona have a splendid record against Rayo Vallecano and it remains unlikely that they will find any particular difficultly in extending their ongoing run of two consecutive wins in all competitions.