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Primera División

  • February 17, 2013
  • • 20:00
  • • Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid
  • Referee: José Luis Paradas Romero
  • • Attendance: 63000
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Real Madrid-Rayo Vallecano Preview: Los Merengues face tricky test against city rivals

Real Madrid-Rayo Vallecano Preview: Los Merengues face tricky test against city rivals

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The defending Liga champions have little time to mull over their midweek 1-1 draw with Manchester United as they prepare for the visit of Paco Jemez's free-flowing side on Sunday

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

REAL MADRID

Lopez
Ramos, Pepe, Varane, Coentrao
Khedira, Essien
Callejon, Kaka, Ronaldo
Benzema
RAYO VALLECANO

Ruben
Tito, Galvez, Amat, Casado
Fuego, Trashorras
Bangoura, Dominguez, Piti
Baptistao

Real Madrid trio Alvaro Arbeloa, Luka Modric and Gonzalo Higuain will miss the Primera Division clash against Rayo Vallecano through suspension.

Xabi Alonso (groin) and Iker Casillas (hand) also miss out, while Pepe, Kaka and Jose Callejon could all be handed starts with the Blancos facing their third game in a week.

Rayo forward Leo Baptistao should play despite spraining his ankle during training on Thursday.

Defender Tito returns from suspension, while coach Paco Jemez begins a two-game touchline ban.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Real Madrid have only won two of their last six matches in all competitions (W2, D3, L1).
  • The Castilian giants are unbeaten at home in La Liga this season (W9, D2).
  • Jose Mourinho (pictured, right) will take charge of his 100th Liga match for Madrid on Sunday.
  • Rayo Vallecano have won six of their last eight matches in La Liga.
  • Los Franjirrojos have lost their last nine encounters against the Blancos.
  • Rayo's last victory at the Santiago Bernabeu was a 2-1 success in January 1996.

Players to watch

Cristiano Ronaldo

Position: Attacker

Games: 14

  • 25
  • 2
  • 0
The 28-year-old scored a brilliant header against former club Manchester United in midweek and looked a threat everytime he received the ball. Ronaldo will be out to add to his record of five goals in three appearances against Rayo Vallecano.

Léo Baptistão

Position: Attacker

Games: 14

  • 6
  • 2
  • 0
The young Brazilian has been a key performer in cash-strapped Rayo's astonishing rise to sixth position in the Primera Division standings. With seven Liga goals under his belt, Baptistao has proved to be an excellent replacement for Michu, who departed to Swansea City in the summer.

Editor's Prediction

Real are likely to make several changes on Sunday, so fatigue should not be a factor in this local derby. Rayo will be on a high after last weekend's win over Atletico Madrid, but they have struggled to replicate their form away from home.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Real Madrid

Rayo Vallecano

Wins
5
0
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

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