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Prediction: Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano

Stefan Budur in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 17 May 2024

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Verdict: Barcelona over 2.75 goals

Best odds: 2.22

Bookmaker: ZetBet

After a stellar run, Barcelona can lock up second place in the rankings with two rounds remaining if they defeat Rayo Vallecano. The match will take place at the Olímpico Lluís Companys Stadium, followed by a journey to Sevilla which will see Barca wrap up their season.

Barcelona

Although Barcelona were the favourites to retain their La Liga champions crown, Xavi Hernandez’s team struggled to maintain the tempo this term. In addition, Barca’s disappointing season will end without any silverware with their elimination from the Champions League and Spanish Cup, and title loss to Real Madrid.

Following a fierce battle with Girona that extended during the entire campaign, the Blaugrana supporters can find bitter comfort in clinching the runner-up position. Still, the host’s La Liga three home defeats proved costly at the end of the season, despite their strong displays in the other games.

However, Barca’s aspirations of defending their title were prematurely ended at the Olímpico Lluís Companys Stadium by Real Madrid, Girona, and Villareal, the teams that defeated the Blaugrana. Furthermore, Xavi Hernandez’s side lost these three games by giving up 11 goals—two against Real Madrid, four against Girona, and five against Villareal.

More so, Girona proved to be a tough foe for Barcelona, who suffered humiliating losses at home and away by the same score (4–2). Although Michel’s side was 2nd during most of this campaign, the club led by Xavi Hernandez recovered greatly and is now the favourite to finish as runners-up.

The Blaugrana go to Andalusia for the season-ending match against Sevilla following their home game against Rayo Vallecano. However, if Barca defeats Rayo Vallecano, the result against Sevilla will bear no significance in the rankings for Xavi Hernadez’s team, as the 2nd place will be certain.

Team News

Gavi has not recovered from his terrible cruciate ligament tear. Alongside missing the last two games in La Liga, the Spain international is set to be out for the European tournament with his national team. Frenkie de Jong (ankle), Alejandro Balde (tendon) and Ronald Araujo (knee) are all out against Rayo Vallecano.

Rayo Vallecano

With two matches left, Rayo Vallecano is no longer in danger of relegation thanks to their recent string of excellent performances. Although the home team spent the entire season struggling in the bottom half of the table, appointing Inigo Perez as manager proved to be a wise choice.

Rayo has shone under the new boss with an attacking style that produced outstanding outcomes in the last eight rounds(W3D3L2). With two games left, Rayo can relax thanks to their recent run that lifted them out of the relegation zone. Moreover, the hosts managed to get two important wins against top Spanish sides like Betis and Osauna, results on which the visitors can build upon at the Olímpico Lluís Companys stadium against Barcelona.

Rayo Vallecano has an excellent record ahead of their trip to Barcelona after their 2-1 home win over Granada and a goalless stalemate at the Mestalla against Valencia. Following the difficult test against Barca, the guests will end this campaign in the Basque country with a fiery match against Athletic Bilbao.

Team News

Inigo Perez has a fully fit squad to face Barcelona. However, several players are at risk of suspension and could miss the Athletic Bilbao trip. Top scorer Alvaro Garcia will aim to make an impression and get his name on the scoreboard following recent below-par displays.

Key factors to consider

  • Barcelona is on the course of finishing the season without silverware after suffering heavy blows domestically and in the Champions League
  • The hosts are positioned excellent to clinch the runners up position in La Liga if they beat Rayo Vallecano
  • Xavi Hernandez’s team displayed improvement at the back by winning the last two games without conceding (2-0 against Real Sociedad and Almeria)
  • Rayo Vallecano avoided relegation thanks to the appointment of Inigo Perez as head coach
  • The former Andoni Iraola assistant stirred Rayo to safety with two games to spare
  • The visitors lost a pair from their last eight games (W3D3L2)

Conclusion

Playing their last game in front of their fans this season, Barcelona is poised to make a statement and get a comfortable win at Olímpico Lluís Companys Stadium. Although the visitors improved greatly under new boss Inigo Perez, Barca is set to offer another great show to their fans.

Verdict: Barcelona over 2.75 goals

Best odds: 2.22

Bookmaker: ZetBet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Stefan Budur


Former owner of Betting Mojo, experienced bettor and former punter at Betadvisor, Stefan has done it all when it comes to soccer betting. With more than 15 years of experience in the gambling industry, he gained a lot of knowledge that he'd like to share with SoccerNews.com readers so you can position yourself better every time you place a bet.

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