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Our man in the Spanish capital, Phil Kitromilides, believes Madrid will bounce back with a high scoring performance at the Bernabeu

Things have taken a definite turn for the worse for Carlo Ancelotti and his men, as successive league defeats for the first time during the Italian's tenure have converted a three point advantage into a three point deficit for Real Madrid at the top of the table.

Victory is imperative on Saturday at home against their neighbours Rayo Vallecano and indeed not only are three points the absolute minimum, but the fans will be expecting to see the style turned on as Los Blancos look to get back to winning ways. Madrid are offered at 1/16 (1.06) by William Hill to overcome a Rayo side who are in their best form for many years.

Four wins and a draw from their last five games have moved the Vallecanos five points clear of the relegation zone when they looked almost certain to go down just a month ago.

Nobody however, is expecting that remarkable run to continue and the price of 33/1 (34.00) for an away win shows just how big the challenge is for the visitors. Even a draw is priced at 10/1 (11.00).

Indeed, Rayo have the worst defensive record in the division by quite some margin, having conceded 63 goals already in the Primera Division.

Madrid have been creating plenty of chances, but not necessarily taking them, yet that should change on Saturday against opposition that have already been on the end of some big scorelines.

Los Blancos can be backed at 17/20 (1.85) to score over 3.5 goals and that looks like an excellent price. Carlo Ancelotti will be looking for a reaction from his players, and Rayo might just be the perfect opponents, as they are unlikely to just sit back and invite pressure.

This in turn should lead to plenty of space for Madrid to exploit and the hosts should have no problems netting at least four times. Vallecano have conceded at least four times on no fewer than eight occasions already in this campaign so the 17/20 (1.85) looks a perfectly good option considering the need for Madrid to record a convincing victory.

Real Madrid to score over 3.5 goals at 17/20 (1.85) 3.5pt stake with William Hill

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid