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Nov 1, 2021 at 5.30pm UK
Rayo VallecanoRayo Vallecano
Celta VigoCelta Vigo

Valentin (65'), Isi (69'), Iraola (90+2')

Galan (45'), Solari (51'), Mendez (69'), Fontan (70'), Tapia (81')

Preview: Rayo Vallecano vs. Celta Vigo - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Rayo Vallecano vs. Celta Vigo - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Monday's La Liga clash between Rayo Vallecano and Celta Vigo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Rayo Vallecano will be looking to continue their impressive start to the 2021-22 La Liga campaign when they welcome Celta Vigo to Estadio de Vallecas on Monday evening.

The home side are currently fifth in the table, having picked up 19 points from their opening 11 matches, while Celta occupy 14th with 10 points to show from their first 11 games of the season.

Match preview

Rayo secured a return to Spain's top flight via the Segunda Division playoffs last season, and the Madrid-based outfit have made an excellent start to the 2021-22 campaign, picking up 19 points from their opening 11 matches to occupy fifth position, just two points behind second-placed Real Madrid.

Los Franjirrojos will enter this match off the back of a 1-0 win over Barcelona on Wednesday night, which led to Ronald Koeman's dismissal; Radamel Falcao scored the only goal of the contest, and the forward has now netted four times in six league appearances for the club since his arrival.

Whether Andoni Iraola's side can enjoy a historic season remains to be seen, but another victory on Monday would lead them nicely into a mouthwatering contest away to Real Madrid next weekend.

Rayo actually finished eighth in the 2012-13 La Liga campaign, and the indications thus far are that the team will again be a great watch this season, having already found the back of the net on 18 occasions in their 11 matches.

Los Vallecanos are unbeaten in their last three league games against Celta, meanwhile, recording two wins in the process, including a 4-2 home success in their last meeting in Madrid in January 2019.

Celta, meanwhile, have struggled for form in recent weeks, losing three of their last four league matches, including a 2-0 home defeat to Real Sociedad on Thursday night.

A record of three wins, one draw and seven defeats has seen the Sky Blues collect 10 points, which has left them in 14th position ahead of this weekend's fixtures, although there is every chance that they will have dropped a few places by the time that this game kicks off on Monday.

Celta have been a top-flight side since 2012 and managed to finish eighth last term, but they ended the 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns in 17th position, and a relegation battle is possible despite their quality.

Eduardo Coudet's side have won two of their last three La Liga matches on the road, though, including a 3-0 success at Getafe on October 25, where Santi Mina and Iago Aspas were both on the scoresheet.

Mina and Aspas have seven league goals between them this season, and Rayo will certainly have to be wary of the duo during Monday night's affair at Estadio de Vallecas.

Rayo Vallecano La Liga form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Celta Vigo La Liga form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Rayo will again be without the services of Martin Merquelanz due to a sprained knee, but the home side are otherwise in excellent shape in terms of availability for this match.

Head coach Iraola is expected to stick with the majority of the side that took to the field for the first whistle against Barcelona, with Falcao again operating at the tip of a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Isi Palazon and Alvaro Garcia should also keep their spots in the wide areas, but there might be an alteration in the middle of the park, with Unai Lopez potentially coming in for a start.

As for Celta, Jose Fontan is out until the middle of November with a knee problem, but Coudet otherwise has a fully-fit squad to choose from.

Renato Tapia appeared off the bench against Real Sociedad after recovering from injury, and the midfielder is now expected to come into the starting XI at the expense of Fran Beltran.

There are not likely to be changes elsewhere, though, with Aspas and Mina again operating as the front two ahead of Brais Mendez, Denis Suarez and Nolito in the deeper positions.

Rayo Vallecano possible starting lineup:
Dimitrievski; Balliu, Saveljich, Catena, F Garcia; Lopez, Comesana; Palazon, Trejo, A Garcia; Falcao

Celta Vigo possible starting lineup:
Dituro; Mallo, Murillo, Aidoo, Galan; Tapia; Mendez, Suarez, Nolito; Aspas, Mina

We say: Rayo Vallecano 2-1 Celta Vigo

Rayo have been a great watch this season, and the capital outfit are also picking up plenty of points along the way. Celta cannot be discounted due to their quality in the forward positions, but Rayo will be flying after the win over Barcelona, and we fancy the home side to put another three points on the board.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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1Real Sociedad127411710725
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6Rayo Vallecano126241812620
8Athletic Bilbao11461117418
15Celta Vigo123271014-411
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