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Played
September 21, 2013 2:00 PM EDT
Estadio del Rayo Vallecano (de Vallecas Teresa Rivero) — Madrid
Referee:‬ Clos Gómez‎
Attendance:‬ 11740‎
 
 
Pedro 33′
 
Pedro 47′
 
Pedro 72′
 

La Liga Preview: Rayo Vallecano - Barcelona

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

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Barcelona will be out to stretch its unbeaten La Liga run to 17 games when it travels to Rayo Vallecano on Saturday.

Gerardo Martino's men have had an excellent start to the season, picking up 12 points from their first four games while scoring 14 goals. The reigning league champion is tied atop the table with Atletico Madrid and makes the trip to face another side from the Spanish capital to whom it has 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. The club's 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 season'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, meanwhile, has endured a dismal start to the campaign, tasting victory in just one of 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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La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ Feb 15, 2014 Barcelona 6 - Rayo Vallecano 0
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La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ Sep 21, 2013 Rayo Vallecano 0 - Barcelona 4
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La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ Mar 17, 2013 Barcelona 3 - Rayo Vallecano 1
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La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ Oct 27, 2012 Rayo Vallecano 0 - Barcelona 5
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La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ Apr 29, 2012 Rayo Vallecano 0 - Barcelona 7
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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
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Atlético de Madrid
27 5
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
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Barcelona
25 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0