Real Betis will travel to the capital to take on Rayo Vallecano in what is their 16th game of the season.
Venue: Campo de Futbol de Vallecas (Madrid)
Rayo Vallecano are unbeaten in their last seven league games (W3, D4).
They are also unbeaten in their last six home games (W4, D2).
The hosts have kept just one clean sheet in their last five games.
Real Betis are winless in their last three league games (D2, L1).
They have failed to score in six of their last ten away matches.
Head to head
Real Betis are unbeaten in their last nine games against Rayo Vallecano (W4, D5).
Latest performances in all competitions
Rayo Vallecano: L-D-W-L-D
Real Betis: W-D-L-D-W
Rayo will look to bounce back from their shock loss in the Copa del Rey when they face Real Betis on Sunday evening.
The hosts were beaten by the lower division side in the Copa del Rey third round last Tuesday, falling to a 2-0 defeat away from home. The result made it two games without a win for Rayo, who also drew their first league game after the World Cup.
The draw came against Girona (2-2) but extended Vallecano’s unbeaten league run to seven games (W3, D4). Consequently, no side in the Spanish La Liga is enjoying a longer unbeaten run than the hosts who are looking good among the top teams in Spain.
Rayo Vallecano come into this tie sitting in a comfortable eight position. And so, with only a handful of points separating the several clubs chasing title contenders Real Madrid and Barcelona for the remaining UEFA Champions League places, there is a possibility that Vallecano can sneak into a European spot this year.
So, needless to say, the stakes are high in this clash, with the hosts desperate to pull off another significant result after beating Real Madrid 3-2 in November. That result sets up an excellent opportunity for manager Andoni Iraola to earn his first win against Betis in five attempts (D2, L2).
Possible Rayo Vallecano starting line-up
Stole Dimitrievski, Ivan Balliu, Florian Lejeune, Khalid Abdul Mumin, Fran García, Santi Comesaña, Pathé Ciss, Isi Palazón, Oscar Trejo, Álvaro García Rivera, Sergio Camello Pérez.
Injured: Ruben De Tomas
While Iraola seems to be punching above his weight with Rayo Vallecano, the same cannot be said of Manuel Pellegrini who seems to have lost his way after an early season promise.
The visitors started the campaign brightly and we’re thought to be in the title mix alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona. But a poor run of form, which has seen them win just three of their last ten games (D3, L4) while scoring nine times and conceding nine, has knocked the sails off Betis.
They come into this round of fixtures sitting in sixth place, just two points ahead of Rayo. They are winless in their last three league games (D2, L1), which is now their longest drought of this league season, leaving them two points behind where they were at this stage of 2021/22 prior to securing fifth place.
But despite occupying the last European place ahead of the round, Pellegrini’s side are in a vulnerable position, particularly having played their midweek Copa del Rey game two days after Rayo – a particular point of frustration for the manager who said, “It does not seem logical to me”.
The former Manchester City man will hope his side can put their frustrations of a congested fixture list behind them as they look to get back into the top four places.
Possible Real Betis starting line-up
Rui Silva, Martin Montoya, Víctor Ruiz Torre, Félix Garreta, Alex Moreno, Andres Guardado, William Carvalho, Sergio Canales, Nabil Fekir, Luiz Henrique, Borja Iglesias.
Injured: Youssouf Sabaly, Paul Akouokou
Doubtful: Juan Cruz
Suspended: Luiz Felipe
|Rayo Vallecano to win||Draw||Real Sociedad to win|
Rayo Vallecano 2-1 Real Betis