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Rayo Vallecano v Real Madrid: Varane feels anything is possible

Raphael Varane says Real Madrid are aware that any outcome is possible in La Liga’s title race as they prepare to take on local rivals Rayo Vallecano at Vallecas on Saturday.

Goals from Karim Benzema, Lucas Vazquez and Luka Modric secured an impressive 3-0 win over Villarreal – a team who sit only one place below them in the table – on Wednesday.

Zinedine Zidane’s side are one point behind co-leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid at the top of La Liga having won eight consecutive league matches since their derby defeat to Diego Simeone’s men in February.

Varane knows there is no margin for error and feels that streak needs to become 12 over the final four games of the league season if Madrid are to stand a chance of winning a first title since 2012.  

“We are thinking about our game – we have to win all of them and fight until the end,” Varane said.

“We are in good form, physically and tactically very good. Anything could happen and we are thinking about what we can do. We need to keep a cool head and play our football.

“A lot of things have happened in a month and as a result of that we have to battle. We can win titles with the confidence and spirit that we have got.

“We can’t affect what happens in the other games. We are on a good run, the team looks good and we are all geared up for the end of the season.”

Zidane received a double boost ahead of the game when Cristiano Ronaldo declared he was “all good” after appearing to injure his hamstring against Villarreal, while Gareth Bale returned to training following a back problem which he denied was suffered during a golf event.

The game at Rayo will come only three days before the first leg of the Champions League semi-final at Manchester City, but Modric warned the team not to get distracted.

“We have to continue putting pressure on the other teams,” said the midfielder. “The game at Vallecas will be difficult and after that we will think about the Champions League.

“We have to do our thing and see if anyone above us slips up. We must focus on what we have to do – we are playing well.

“Real Madrid and have a squad that can fight for titles. The starting XI plus the bench do their thing and it’s important that during the season everyone is ready. We are full of confidence, playing well and are going to keep going until the end of the season.

“The ovation from the Bernabeu crowd is impressive and it makes me happy to score a goal after so long. I’m really grateful for the support from the fans.”

Hosts Rayo are fighting to avoid relegation as they sit only five points clear of safety despite only losing one of their last six matches.

The reverse meeting between the two teams was memorable, with Madrid romping to a 10-2 home victory under Rafael Benitez in December, with Rayo – who had led 2-1 – reduced to nine men by the 28th minute.

Thu 21 Apr, 2016
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