Rayo Vallecano - Real Madrid Preview: Blancos look to kick-start Liga campaign at Vallecas
Jose Mourinho's side will hope to build on their rousing Champions League win over Manchester City as they set about clawing back an eight-point deficit to leaders Barcelona
By Karthick Arvinth
Tito, Amat, Casado
Piti, Trashorras, Carlos
Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo
Rayo Vallecano boss Paco Jemez has a full squad to choose from for Sunday's clash with Real Madrid at Vallecas.
Goalkeeper Ruben is available after missing last weekend's 4-3 defeat at Atletico Madrid through suspension.
Real Madrid have no major injury concerns, but coach Jose Mourinho is likely to make changes to the team that beat Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Sergio Ramos is pushing for a start ahead of Raphael Varane, while Mesut Ozil could be brought in for Michael Essien.
Left-back Fabio Coentrao serves the last of his four-match suspension.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Rayo Vallecano are six places above Real Madrid in the Primera Division standings going into Sunday's match.
- The Vallecas club have lost their last eight head-to-head meetings with Real.
- Rayo's last victory over their illustrious city rivals was a 1-0 home win in February 1997.
- Real Madrid are on a three-match losing streak away from home in all competitions.
- The Castilian side's 3-2 win over Manchester City was their 100th victory in the Champions League, making them the first club to reach the milestone since the tournament was reformatted in 1992.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured right) has featured in 46 consecutive Liga matches for Madrid since missing the 3-2 defeat to Real Zaragoza in April 2011.
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Top 3 Predictions
Rayo Vallecano 8-0 Real Madrid
- 16.57 %
Rayo Vallecano 0-8 Real Madrid
- 13.53 %
Rayo Vallecano 0-3 Real Madrid
- 8.78 %
|La Liga (LIGA)||2 Nov 2013||Rayo Vallecano 2 - Real Madrid 3|
|La Liga (LIGA)||17 Feb 2013||Real Madrid 2 - Rayo Vallecano 0|
|La Liga (LIGA)||24 Sep 2012||Rayo Vallecano 0 - Real Madrid 2|
|La Liga (LIGA)||26 Feb 2012||Rayo Vallecano 0 - Real Madrid 1|
|La Liga (LIGA)||24 Sep 2011||Real Madrid 6 - Rayo Vallecano 2|
|6 Dec 2013||Valladolid 0 - Rayo Vallecano 0||ESPC|
|1 Dec 2013||Betis 2 - Rayo Vallecano 2||LIGA|
|24 Nov 2013||Rayo Vallecano 1 - Espanyol 4||LIGA|
|9 Nov 2013||Celta 0 - Rayo Vallecano 2||LIGA|
|2 Nov 2013||Rayo Vallecano 2 - Real Madrid 3||LIGA|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
A product of Barcelona's La Masia academy, Trashorras is an elegant player who is capable of gliding past players and providing incisive passes. The 31-year-old will probably be ordered to curb his attacking instincts and drop back to put pressure on Ozil whenever Rayo lose possession.
The Spain international's omission from the starting line-up for the Manchester City game raised a few eyebrows, as Mourinho opted for young Varane in his place. Ramos will be under scrutiny after publicly criticising Mourinho in the aftermath of the drab defeat at Sevilla last week.
Rayo have made a solid start to the season but they are a side who will leak goals. The visitors will draw strength from their performance against City and will be determined to reverse their dismal recent away form.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed