thumbnail Hello,

Primera División

  • September 24, 2011
  • • 19:00
  • • Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
  • Referee: José Luis Paradas Romero
  • • Attendance: 72000

La Liga Preview: Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano

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


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.

  • 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.

Players to watch

Cristiano Ronaldo

Position: Attacker

Games: 18

  • 15
  • 3
  • 0
After scoring four goals in the first two league games, the Portuguese attacker has looked off colour in his last three appearances for Madrid. His team-mates will be hoping he is back to his best against Rayo in a game where they need to pick up all three points.

Roberto Trashorras

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The former Celta Vigo man, who joined the club in the summer, represented Real Madrid B between 2003 and 2005 and he will be looking to impress against the side where he failed to make the grade. He will need to be at his creative best for his team to stand a chance against the Spanish giants.

Editor's Prediction

After two disappointing results on the road, it is difficult to imagine Jose Mourinho's men not returning to winning ways at the Bernabeu. Rayo have made a bright start to their first La Liga campaign in eight years but a trip to their more illustrious neighbours will be a different proposition altogether.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Real Madrid

Rayo Vallecano


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Real Madrid CF RMA
Real Madrid CF Real Madrid
Rayo Vallecano RAY
Rayo Vallecano Rayo Vallecano

Top 3 Predictions

Real Madrid CF RMA
5 - 0
Rayo Vallecano RAY
Real Madrid CF RMA
3 - 0
Rayo Vallecano RAY
Real Madrid CF RMA
4 - 0
Rayo Vallecano RAY