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Primera División

  • November 29, 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: Miguel Pérez Lasa
  • • Attendance: 75000
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La Liga Preview: Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano

La Liga Preview: Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano

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Pep Guardiola's men will be looking to bounce back from their shock defeat to Getafe over the weekend when they face the Madrid club at Camp Nou


PROBABLE LINE-UPS


BARCELONA


Valdes
Dani Alves, Pique, Puyol, Abidal
Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas
Pedro, Messi, Villa



RAYO VALLECANO
 
Cobeno
Tito, Labaka, Jordi, Casado
Movilla, Fuego
Lass, Michu, Piti
Tamudo


Carles Puyol is expected to partner Gerard Pique in the centre of defence after being rested during the 1-0 defeat to Getafe on Saturday, so Eric Abidal is likely to start at left back.

Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta have both returned to training and are in contention for starts against Rayo. Expect the former to be given the nod ahead of Thiago in midfield with Iniesta due to start the game on the substitutes bench.

After Alexis Sanchez struggled to impress over the weekend, Pep Guardiola could rotate his attack with Pedro given a start alongside Lionel Messi and David Villa, after returning from a knee problem.

For the visitors, Raul Tamudo could be given the lone frontman role in place of Andrija Delibasic who struggled in the 2-1 defeat to Valencia over the weekend. Elsewhere, Michel Labaka is expected to return to the centre of defence in place of Javi Arribas.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Barcelona are currently six points behind fierce rivals Real Madrid and will be desperate for victory against Rayo.
  • The fixture has been brought forward as Pep Guardiola's men will be heading to Japan in December to take part in the Club World Cup.
  • Lionel Messi has grabbed 15 Liga goals this season, the same amount as the entire Rayo team combined.
  • Rayo Vallecano have had a successful return to La Liga so far, with Jose Ramon Sandoval's men currently ninth in the table.
  • The last time the two teams met in May 2003, Barcelona ran out 3-0 winners at Camp Nou.
  • The average age of Rayo's squad is 26.6 years old, compared to Barcelona's which is 24.5.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
3PiquéDefender
22Éric AbidalDefender
6XaviMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
-Seydou KeitaMidfielder
7David VillaStriker
9Alexis SánchezStriker
10MessiStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
5Carles PuyolDefender
21AdrianoDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
16BusquetsMidfielder
7PedroStriker
1CobeñoGoalkeeper
25Jordi FiguerasDefender
-Mikel LabakaDefender
14ArribasDefender
22Pedro BotelhoDefender
-CasadoDefender
15Javi FuegoMidfielder
9MichuMidfielder
7MovillaMidfielder
-MíchelMidfielder
27LassStriker
-DaniGoalkeeper
23SuelitonDefender
12Dani PachecoStriker
25Rafa GarcíaMidfielder
-Andrija DelibasicStriker
10PitiStriker
20Raúl TamudoStriker
Players to Watch
Cesc Fàbregas
Cesc Fàbregas
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 4
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
After missing the defeat to Getafe on Saturday with a knock, the former Arsenal man is expected to return to the Catalan club's midfield to provide creativity. Fabregas will also look to get into the opponent's penalty area on a regular basis, and return to the scoring form that served him so well at the start of the season.
Raúl Tamudo
Raúl Tamudo
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 20
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The veteran forward will be raring to go against Barcelona, especially after spending so many years at city rivals Espanyol. Tamudo has looked impressive when called upon this season and has four goals to his name.
Prediction
Despite the defeat to Getafe at the weekend, it is hard to imagine anything other than a comfortable win for the reigning Liga champions when they meet Rayo at Camp Nou on Tuesday.
Editor's Prediction

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