On Saturday, April 23, Rayo Vallecano hosts Real Madrid CF in a Spanish Primera Division week 35 fixture. The game will be played at the Estadio del Rayo Vallecano in the city of Madrid and will kick off at 15:00 BST.
The hosts are currently 16th on the league table with 35 points from 34 games while the visitors are in 3rd place with 78 points from 34 games.
A win for the underdogs can see them rise to 13th place on the table, while a defeat can see them drop to 18th position. A win for the Madrid giants can see them rise to the top of the league table, while a defeat will leave them no lower than their current position.
Rayo Vallecano hoping for safetyRayo Vallecano currently lies three points above the relegation zone, and will be looking to get the points to secure their top flight status as quickly as possible. Also this game is a derby game, so the underdogs will be looking to dent their city rivals title ambitions.
Los Vallecanos, managed by Paco Jemez, are in good form, with two wins, two draws and one defeat in their last five games. These wins were against Getafe (2-0 on April 1), and Villarreal (2-1 on April 17).
The underdogs drew their recent games against Granada (2-2 on March 19), and Malaga (1-1 on April 20), but suffered defeat at the hands of Athletic Bilbao (1-0 on April 10).
Real Madrid back in title raceReal Madrid’s league campaign has resurrected from the dead in the last couple of weeks, clawing back 11 points to reduce the gap between them and leaders Barcelona to 1 point. The league is now a three horse race, and the Madrid giants will love nothing more than to complete the comeback against their fierce rivals.
Los Blancos, managed by Zinedane Zidane are in very good form, with four wins and one defeat in their last five games in all competitions. These wins were in consecutive league games against Eibar (4-0 on April 9), Getafe (1-5 on April 16), and Villarreal (3-0 on April 20). They also defeated Wolfsburg in the Champions League (3-0 on April 12)
The only recent defeat for the league challengers was the defeat in the Champions League to Wolfsburg (2-0 on April 6)
Javi Guevarra has been in decent scoring form for the hosts this season, leading their scoring charts with 11 goals in 26 games. A very good performance from him will go a long way in helping Rayo Vallecano secure a positive result. The revamp in form of Real Madrid has been championed by the mercurial Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Portuguese hitman will be looking to help his side to another three points in this encounter.
Rayo Vallecano are 43 points and 13 places behind Real Madrid, and I expect this gulf in quality to be apparent in this game. Real Madrid to win by a few goals.