thumbnail Hello,

La Liga

  • October 27, 2012
  • • 21:00
  • • Estadio del Rayo Vallecano (de Vallecas Teresa Rivero), Madrid
  • Referee: Miguel Pérez Lasa
  • • Attendance: 15500

Rayo Vallecano - Barcelona Preview: Catalan giants aiming to tighten defence ahead of Vallecas visit

Rayo Vallecano - Barcelona Preview: Catalan giants aiming to tighten defence ahead of Vallecas visit

Getty Images

The Blaugrana have conceded eight goals in their last three Liga matches and will be hoping to shed their defensive frailties when they take on Paco Jemez's side



Tito, Galvez, Amat, Casado
Fuego, Trashorras
Carlos, Baptistao, Piti

Adriano, Pique, Song, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
Fabregas, Messi, Pedro

Rayo Vallecano could be without Piti and David Cobeno for Saturday's Primera Division clash with Barcelona at Vallecas due to illness.

Jordi Amat and Nicki Bille return from injury, but centre-back Mikel Labaka is suspended after his red card in the defeat at Espanyol.

Barcelona are waiting to find out if they will have Javier Mascherano available after launching a second appeal against the Argentine's sending off during the 5-4 win over Deportivo La Coruna.

Defenders Dani Alves (hamstring) and Gerard Pique (ankle) have returned to training and may feature, but captain Carles Puyol (elbow) and midfielder Thiago Alcantara (knee) are still out.

  • Rayo Vallecano have lost four of their last five matches in La Liga.
  • The Vallecas outfit got thrashed 7-0 in this corresponding fixture last season.
  • Rayo's last home win over Barcelona was a 1-0 success in December 2002.
  • Barcelona have won eight of their last nine matches in all competitions.
  • The Catalan side have managed to keep just three clean sheets in their 13 competitive matches to date this term.
  • Barcelona have never lost a match in which Andres Iniesta (pictured, right) has scored.

Players to watch

Jordi Amat

Position: Defender

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The on-loan defender is a promising Spain Under-21 international who knows all about facing Barcelona, having been involved in numerous Catalan derbies with Espanyol. Rayo will hope Amat's return can help shore up a defence that has conceded 16 times in the last five matches.

L. Messi

Position: Attacker

Games: 36

  • 34
  • 3
  • 0
The Argentine had a quiet game against Celtic by his own high standards as he was frustrated time and again by the Scottish champions' dogged defensive display. The 25-year-old should have an easier time of it on Saturday against a side not particularly renowned for their defensive resilience, and he will be looking to build on the hat-trick he scored against Deportivo last weekend.

Editor's Prediction

Despite all the talk of a defensive crisis, it would not come as a surprise if Barcelona kept a clean sheet and coasted to a comfortable win at Vallecas. Rayo have plateaued after a promising start to the season and will need a fair amount of luck on their side to get a result.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Rayo Vallecano



Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Rayo Vallecano RAY
Rayo Vallecano Rayo Vallecano
FC Barcelona FCB
FC Barcelona Barcelona

Top 3 Predictions

Rayo Vallecano RAY
0 - 8
FC Barcelona FCB
Rayo Vallecano RAY
1 - 4
FC Barcelona FCB
Rayo Vallecano RAY
0 - 4
FC Barcelona FCB