Spanish La Liga title hopefuls Real Madrid travel to neighbours Rayo Vallecano for their matchday 35 fixture on Saturday evening.
The Los Blancos are trailing league leaders Barcelona by a point and will be hoping to put pressure on their arch rivals by taking all points against Rayo. But Real may not have the presence of both Ronaldo and Bale, who are carrying knocks.
Rayo are 16th in the league table, 5 points ahead of the relegation zone and a defeat in this match wont immediately put them inside the danger zone. They have a terrible record against their neighbours and will be hoping to come out with some thing out of this match.
- Rayo Vallecano are unbeaten in 5 of their last 6 matches, with 2 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss.
- At the same time, the have won just in their last 11 La Liga games.
- Rayo are coming on back-to-back home wins and are unbeaten in their last three. They have lost just once in their 8 home matches.
- Real Madrid have won 8 La Liga matches in a row and scored 3 or more goals in 4 of them.
- Real Madrid have scored 18 goals in their last 5 matches in Spanish La Liga.
- Away from home, Real are on a 4 match winning streak and haven’t lost a match in their last 8 trips.
Real Madrid: Team News
Cristiano Ronaldo is not fully fit after picking up a knock during the dying minutes of the mid-week fixture against Villarreal. It would be interesting to see if Zidane risk him as the key Champions League clash against Manchester City is only a few days away.
Gareth Bale is likely to miss out as he is yet to fully recover from his injury and Daniel Carvajal’s fitness will be assesed closed towards the kick-off.
Casemiro is suspended after picking up a booking Villarreal and as a result
Toni Kroos copuld be handed defensive duties in midfield. Both Isco and James and Isco are likely to start and Lucas Vazquez is an option if Zidane decides to rest Ronaldo ahead to the crucial Champions League tie on Tuesday.
Real Madrid: Expected Starting Line-up (4-3-3)
Marcelo, Ramos, Pepe, Danilo,
Modric, Kroos, Isco,
Ronaldo, Benzema, James.
Rayo Vallecano: Team News
The Los Franjirrojos head-coach has enough injury concerns as 5 players are sidelined. Jose Angel Crespo, Raul Baena and Ze Castro are all doubtfuls and their fitness will be closely assesed towards the closing stages of kick-off.
Rayo Vallecano: Expected Starting Line-up (4-2-3-1)
Tito, Crespo, Amaya. Quini
Embarba, Bebe, Pablo Hernández
Rayo Vallecano vs Real Madrid: Head-to-Head stats
Real Madrid thrashed Rayo Vallecano 10-2 in the first leg of this season’s Spanish La Liga clash at Santiago Bernebeu with Gareth Bale scoring 4, Benzema 3 and Ronaldo 2.
Rayo Vallecano have only won twice against Real Madrid in the 23 meetings in Spanish first division since 1993. The Los Blancos have won in 20 matches and drawn 1. Rayo’s last win against Real Madrid was on February 1997 and the next best result was the 0-0 draw achieved at Santiago Bernebeu on March 2000.
Real Madrid are unbeaten against Rayo Vallecano in 17 La Liga matches and won all of their last 15 meetings in the row.
Rayo Vallecano vs Real Madrid: Prediction
Real Madrid are firing from all cylinders at the moment and they look unstoppable. Ronaldo remains a doubt, but it doesn’t bother them to get a result against a team of Rayo’s stature as the Los Blancos have enough quality in their star studded line-up.
Rayo lost all of the last 8 home matches against Real Madrid and their form is nothing special at the moment. I expect the Los Blancos to comfortable edge this one on Saturday even if Ronaldo is rested. And I also believe Real will score 2 or more goals and may not concede a goal.