Sunday, December 5, 2021

Prediction: Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 5 Nov 2021

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Verdict: Real Madrid win & under five goals

Best Odds: 19/20

Bookmaker: Unibet

Hoping to potentially climb their way back to the top of the La Liga table, Real Madrid will welcome Rayo Vallecano to the Santiago Bernabéu on Saturday night.

Real Madrid

Starting with the hosts, while Real Madrid might once again failed to find their best form in midweek, Los Blancos did overcome what could have been a real Champions League banana skin. Eventually claiming a hard-fought 2-1 win against Shakhtar Donetsk on home soil, returning boss Carlo Ancelotti is calling on his side to find some stability. Opening this weekend’s fixtures sat just a single point adrift of climbing back to the top of the table, the Spanish heavyweights have still managed to find an extended unbeaten run. Last seen on domestic duties hanging onto a 2-1 win against Elche on the road, Madrid have gained a recent reputation for their resolve. Unbeaten in each of their last five matchups across all formats and winning four of those contests, the former Everton boss also has one attacking talisman enjoying his own free-scoring flurry. Making more Champions League history with a brace against Shakhtar in midweek, Karim Benzema has already recorded nine La Liga goals since opening the 2021/22 campaign.

Team News

Real Madrid have already confirmed that the likes of Mariano Diaz, Rodrygo, Federico Valverde and Dani Ceballos will once again be missing on Saturday night.

However, working his way back to full match fitness, Gareth Bale could be in line to make his comeback this weekend.

Rayo Vallecano

As for the visitors, after securing what was a shock La Liga return via the play-offs earlier in the year, Rayo Vallecano have continued to impress many across Spain since opening the 2021/22 campaign. Opening this weekend’s fixtures firmly battling it out in the European hunt, Andoni Iraola’s side should find the mood in their camp at a real high. While Los Franjirrojos might have been last seen having to settle for a 0-0 stalemate against Celta Vigo on home soil, the Vallecas-based outfit will still be boosted by an eye-catching display against former champions Barcelona on October 27th. Costing Ronald Koeman his job in Catalonia, Vallecano stormed their way to a 1-0 win at the Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas, a result that underlined their impressive start. Likewise, it should also be noted, Saturday’s guests have lost just a pair of their last 10 contests, a run that stems all the way back to August 22nd.

Team News

Real Sociedad loanee Martin Merquelanz will once again be missing on Saturday as he deals with a knee injury.

However, defender Esteban Saveljich has been given the green light to mark his return in the capital this weekend.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides last faced off back in 2019, Rayo Vallecano picked up a shock 1-0 win on home soil.
    • Including a 1-0 win against Barcelona last month, Saturday’s guests have lost just a pair of their last 10 outings.
    • Real Madrid are unbeaten in each of their last five matchups across all formats, recording four wins.
    • Karim Benzema has recorded nine La Liga goals since opening the 2021/22 campaign.
    • Three of Vallecano’s last four matchups on the road have finished with both teams finding the net.

    Conclusion

    While Real Madrid might open Saturday’s meeting as a landslide pick, they could face a rugged test against a Rayo Vallecano side who are riding a real wave at the moment. Still boosted by that eye-catching 1-0 win against former champions Barcelona last month, the La Liga returners find themselves firmly battling it out in the European hunt. However, with Los Blancos landing a 2-1 win against Shakhtar Donetsk on Champions League duties in midweek, Saturday’s hosts have found a way to drag themselves over the finish line. Unbeaten in their last five matchups across all formats and winning four of those outings, they also have one attacking talisman enjoying a real flurry. Although Vallecano might have gained a reputation for their rugged approach, we’re backing a home win here.

    Verdict: Real Madrid win & under five goals

    Best Odds: 19/20

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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