La Liga Preview: Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano
Jose Mourinho will be hoping his team get back to winning ways against their local rivals when the two sides meet on Saturday evening
By Luke Matthews
Real Madrid (4-2-3-1): Casillas; Ramos, Carvalho, Varane, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Khedira; Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo; Benzema
Sami Khedira returns for Jose Mourinho's side after serving a one-game suspension and is expected to replace Lassana Diarra in centre midfield. Sergio Ramos is also likely to return to the starting line-up in place of Alvaro Arbeloa at right-back.
With Pepe and Fabio Coentrao out injured, Raphael Varane will continue at centre-half while Angel Di Maria may regain his place in the team, with Jose Callejon dropping to the bench.
Rayo Vallecano (4-2-3-1): Gimenez; Tito, Labaka, Figueras, Raul Bravo; Fuego, Movilla; Trashorras, Pacheco, Michu; Piti
The newly-promoted side will be without on-loan Arsenal winger Pedro Botelho, who was sent-off in their 2-1 defeat to Levante on Wednesday. Dani Pacheco, another loanee, is likely to come in for the Brazilian.
Mikel Labaka is expected to continue in defence, leaving Alejando Arribas on the bench while Piti will lead the frontline, despite failing to score this season.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
Real Madrid have scored 10 goals in four Liga games so far this season, despite failing to find the net in their last two matches.
When the two sides last met in the league, Madrid ran out 3-1 winners at the Bernabeu in April 2003.
Jose Mourinho has one of the youngest squads in La Liga, with Madrid's squad age averaging 24.5 years old.
Ricardo Carvalho has already accrued three yellow cards in La Liga this season, despite the new campaign only being a month old.
- Rayo Vallecano were promoted to the Primera Division last season, ending an eight-year absence from Spain's top-flight.
The club are based in the Madrid neighbourhood of Vallecas and are one of Jose Mourinho's men's local rivals.
Rayo have met Madrid on 14 occasions, winning two, drawing one and losing the remaining 11 encounters.
Like Madrid, the side's only defeat of the season has come against Levante with Jose Ramon Sandoval's side currently sitting in 10th place.
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Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid CF 5-0 Rayo Vallecano
- 13.78 %
Real Madrid CF 3-0 Rayo Vallecano
- 11.45 %
Real Madrid CF 4-0 Rayo Vallecano
- 11.4 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Nov 2, 2013||Rayo Vallecano 2 - Real Madrid CF 3|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Feb 17, 2013||Real Madrid CF 2 - Rayo Vallecano 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Sep 24, 2012||Rayo Vallecano 0 - Real Madrid CF 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Feb 26, 2012||Rayo Vallecano 0 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Sep 24, 2011||Real Madrid CF 6 - Rayo Vallecano 2|
|Real Madrid CF|
|Dec 10, 2013||FC Copenhagen 0 - Real Madrid CF 2||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||CD Olímpic de Xàtiva 0 - Real Madrid CF 0||ESPC|
|Nov 30, 2013||Real Madrid CF 4 - Valladolid 0||LIGA|
|Nov 27, 2013||Real Madrid CF 4 - Galatasaray 1||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Almeria 0 - Real Madrid CF 5||LIGA|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|