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Played
September 22, 2013 2:00 AM SGT
Estadio del Rayo Vallecano (de Vallecas Teresa Rivero) — Madrid
Referee:‬ Clos Gómez‎
Attendance:‬ 11740‎
 
 
Pedro 33′
 
Pedro 47′
 
Pedro 72′
 

Rayo Vallecano - Barcelona Preview: Catalans target 17-game unbeaten run

Jordi Alba and Carles Puyol are out for Gerardo Martino, but defensive issues will not be a concern for free-scoring Barca when they travel to the Spanish capital

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Barcelona will be out to stretch their unbeaten La Liga run to 17 games when they travel to Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

Gerardo Martino's men have made an excellent start to the season, picking up 12 points from their first four games while scoring 14 goals.

Reigning champions Barca sit joint-top of the table with Atletico Madrid, and make the trip to face another side from the Spanish capital to whom they have not lost since 2002. 

The Catalan club won both outings between the two sides in emphatic fashion last season, dishing out a 5-0 thrashing at Rayo in October 2012, before easing to a 3-1 success at the Camp Nou in March. 

Their visit to the Campo de futbol de Vallecas in 2011-12, meanwhile, resulted in a 7-0 success. 

Lionel Messi scored four goals in last term's encounters and the Argentine talisman approaches this contest in fine form, having netted his 24th hat-trick for Barcelona in a 4-0 win over Ajax in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Messi, who has also scored six goals in three league appearances this season, will once again be expected to play a prominent role in the Barca side, but Martino's men will be without Jordi Alba, who has a hamstring injury.

Carles Puyol (knee) is close to recovery, but this game is likely to come too soon for the Barcelona captain, while Ibrahim Afellay (thigh) is also out.

Rayo have endured a dismal start to the campaign, tasting victory in just one of their four matches thus far.

That win came on the opening day of the season against newly promoted Elche, but since then Paco Jemez's men - who finished eighth last term - have collapsed, conceding 12 goals in their last three games.

Striker Lass Bangoura, sent-off in the defeat to Levante, is still suspended for Rayo, Nery Castillo is a doubt while Iago Falque (groin) and Jose Carlos (knee ligament) are both long-term absentees.



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Head to Head
Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Feb 16, 2014 FC Barcelona 6 - Rayo Vallecano 0
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Sep 22, 2013 Rayo Vallecano 0 - FC Barcelona 4
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Mar 18, 2013 FC Barcelona 3 - Rayo Vallecano 1
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Oct 28, 2012 Rayo Vallecano 0 - FC Barcelona 5
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Apr 30, 2012 Rayo Vallecano 0 - FC Barcelona 7
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Returns: Rayo Vallecano 130.00 Ladbrokes Sign up with Ladbrokes for a free bet up to $100
Returns: Draw 70.00 Ladbrokes Sign up with Ladbrokes for a free bet up to $100
Returns: Barcelona 11.80 Ladbrokes Sign up with Ladbrokes for a free bet up to $100
Team News
Available Squads
25RubénGoalkeeper
2TitoDefender
4Alejandro GálvezDefender
-ArbillaDefender
-J. MojicaDefender
7Raúl BaenaMidfielder
17TrashorrasMidfielder
-SaúlMidfielder
16PereaStriker
-Jonathan VieraMidfielder
-BuenoStriker
1CobeñoGoalkeeper
-Nacho MartínezDefender
-Leonel Ezequiel GaleanoDefender
23Adrián GonzálezMidfielder
28C. CuevaMidfielder
-Adrián EmbarbaMidfielder
-Joaquin LarriveyStriker
1Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
2MontoyaDefender
3PiquéDefender
21AdrianoDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
6XaviMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
17Alex SongMidfielder
7PedroStriker
10Lionel MessiStriker
11NeymarStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
15BartraDefender
22Daniel AlvesDefender
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
12Jonathan Dos SantosMidfielder
9Alexis SánchezStriker
20TelloStriker
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
26 4
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0