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Our man in Madrid, Phil Kitromilides believes Rayo are more than capable of scoring against the hosts on Sunday evening and he has a 3/1 value bet in mind

Having entertained a club of the grandeur of Manchester United in the Champions League on Wednesday night, Real Madrid face opposition from the other end of the footballing spectrum on Sunday evening. Rayo Vallecano have no money, few fans and boast a stadium with only three sides to it.

What they do possess in abundance though is passion, character and identity. The visiting side make the trip across the Spanish capital hoping to inflict a shock win on their infinitely more illustrious neighbours.

A shock is indeed what it would be, with Bet365 pricing the side from Vallecas at 12/1 (13.00) to claim three points in the Bernabeu. Madrid, meanwhile, who's long unbeaten run at home was cited by Sir Alex Ferguson as one of the reasons he was particularly pleased with Wednesday's 1-1 draw, can be backed at 2/11 (1.18).

Four league wins in a row at home have elevated Rayo to sixth in the table, two points off a Champions League place, although their away form has been more erratic.

Paco Jemez's side have lost their last two matches away from Vallecas, yet have won at both Valencia and Malaga this season, arguably the two toughest away grounds in La Liga outside the top two.

That is not to say they will win against Madrid but they are capable of ruffling a few feathers, and both teams to score would look a great bet were it not for the fact that it is priced at 4/7 (1.57) which is perhaps just too small to invest in.

Instead backing Rayo to score before the 71st minute at 5/6 (1.83) looks like an excellent option at more attractive odds. The visitors arguably have more to play for in the league than Madrid, who will still be potentially a little drained and deflated from their Champions league exploits.

For Rayo this is the biggest game of the season, for Madrid it is a mild irritation. That difference in attitude should see Rayo score and score relatively early. Furthermore it is worth considering that this bet has paid out in six of Rayo's last seven games

For a value bet, back Rayo to score first (as they did in this fixture last season) at 3/1 (4.00).

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
VALUE BET
Rayo to score before 71st minute at 5/6 (1.83) with Bet365
Rayo to score first at 3/1 (4.00) with Bet365

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports anchor working on TV in Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.

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