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Primera División

  • 29 November 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: Miguel Pérez Lasa
  • • Attendance: 75000

Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano Preview: Pep Guardiola's side aiming to bounce back from shock defeat to Getafe

Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano Preview: Pep Guardiola's side aiming to bounce back from shock defeat to Getafe


The Liga champions suffered a surprising 1-0 loss at the weekend but have an almost full strength squad to choose from as they seek a return to winning ways



Dani Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal
Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas
Pedro, Messi, Villa

Tito, Labaka, Jordi, Casado
Movilla, Fuego
Lass, Michu, Piti

Carles Puyol is expected to partner Gerard Pique in the centre of defence after being rested during the 1-0 defeat to Getafe on Saturday, so Eric Abidal is likely to start at left-back.

Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta have both returned to training and are in contention for starts against Rayo. Expect the former to be given the nod ahead of Thiago in midfield with Iniesta due to start the game on the substitutes bench.

After Alexis Sanchez struggled to impress over the weekend, Pep Guardiola could rotate his attack with Pedro given a start alongside Lionel Messi and David Villa, after returning from a knee problem.

For the visitors, Raul Tamudo could be given the lone frontman role in place of Andrija Delibasic who struggled in the 2-1 defeat to Valencia over the weekend. Elsewhere, Michel Labaka is expected to return to the centre of defence in place of Javi Arribas.

  • Barcelona are currently six points behind fierce rivals Real Madrid and will be desperate for victory against Rayo.
  • The fixture has been brought forward as Pep Guardiola's men will be heading to Japan in December to take part in the Club World Cup.
  • Lionel Messi has grabbed 15 Liga goals this season, the same amount as the entire Rayo team combined.
  • Rayo Vallecano have had a successful return to La Liga so far, with Jose Ramon Sandoval's men currently ninth in the table.
  • The last time the two teams met in May 2003, Barcelona ran out 3-0 winners at Camp Nou.
  • The average age of Rayo's squad is 26.6 years old, compared to Barcelona's which is 24.5.
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Players to watch


Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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After missing the defeat to Getafe on Saturday with a knock, the former Arsenal man is expected to return to the Catalan club's midfield to provide creativity. Fabregas will also look to get into the opponent's penalty area on a regular basis, and return to the scoring form that served him so well at the start of the season.

Raúl Tamudo

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The veteran forward will be raring to go against Barcelona, especially after spending so many years at city rivals Espanyol. Tamudo has looked impressive when called upon this season and has four goals to his name.

Editor's Prediction

Despite the defeat to Getafe at the weekend, it is hard to imagine anything other than a comfortable win for the reigning Liga champions when they meet Rayo at Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head


Rayo Vallecano


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

FC Barcelona FCB
FC Barcelona Barcelona
Rayo Vallecano RAY
Rayo Vallecano Rayo Vallecano

Top 3 Predictions

FC Barcelona FCB
5 - 0
Rayo Vallecano RAY
FC Barcelona FCB
4 - 0
Rayo Vallecano RAY
FC Barcelona FCB
3 - 0
Rayo Vallecano RAY