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Nov 6, 2021 at 8pm UK
Real MadridReal Madrid
Rayo VallecanoRayo Vallecano
Kroos (14'), Benzema (38')
Kroos (29')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Falcao (76')
Balliu (45+1'), Comesana (68')

Preview: Real Madrid vs. Rayo Vallecano - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Real Madrid will be looking to make it three straight wins in all competitions when they continue their La Liga campaign at home to high-flying Rayo Vallecano on Saturday night.

Los Blancos are currently second in the table, one point behind leaders Real Sociedad, while Rayo occupy sixth, having collected 20 points from their opening 12 games during an impressive start.

Match preview

Real Madrid have had their issues this season, but a solid start to their domestic campaign has seen them win seven, draw three and lose one of their 11 matches to collect 24 points, which has left them in second spot in the table, one point behind leaders Real Sociedad, who have played one game more.

Carlo Ancelotti's side will believe that they are title favourites this term, and they picked up a hugely important three points away to Elche last weekend, with in-form Vinicius Junior scoring twice in the absence of Karim Benzema, who missed the contest due to a minor foot problem.

Benzema was back in the side against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday, though, and the Frenchman scored twice in a 2-1 victory, which moved the Whites to the top of Group D on nine points.

Real Madrid have now been victorious in four of their last five matches in all competitions, although each of their last three wins have been by the odd goal, including a 2-1 success at Barcelona in El Clasico.

Los Blancos also suffered a 1-0 defeat to Rayo when the two teams last locked horns in April 2019, but the reverse fixture at the Bernabeu that season ended in a 1-0 home win.

As expected, Rayo have been a terrific watch in La Liga this season, and a brilliant start to the campaign has seen them collect 20 points from their opening 12 matches to sit sixth, just four points behind Real Madrid.

Los Franjirrojos, who finished eighth in the 2012-13 La Liga campaign, secured a return to Spain's top flight via the Segunda Division playoffs last season, and they have had no trouble adjusting back to life at this level.

Andoni Iraola's side will enter this match in good form, having lost just one of their last four league games, while they have collected four points from their last two fixtures against Barcelona and Celta Vigo.

Los Vallecanos, as mentioned, recorded a 1-0 win over Real Madrid in their last meeting during the 2018-19 La Liga season, but they were on the end of a 10-2 loss to Los Blancos at the Bernabeu in December 2015.

Rayo will be hoping that Radamel Falcao can help inspire them to another positive result this weekend, with the 35-year-old scoring four times in seven league appearances for the club since his surprise arrival.

Real Madrid La Liga form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Real Madrid form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

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

Team News

Real Madrid will again be without the services of Mariano Diaz, Rodrygo, Federico Valverde and Dani Ceballos this weekend, but Gareth Bale could potentially make his return from injury.

Head coach Ancelotti could ultimately decide to name the same XI that featured against Shakhtar, with Lucas Vazquez potentially getting the nod over the likes of Marco Asensio and Eden Hazard on the right.

Benzema and Vinicius are certain starters in the final third of the field, while Valverde's absence should see Luka Modric and Toni Kroos continue alongside Casemiro in the middle of the park.

As for Rayo, Martin Merquelanz remains sidelined due to a knee injury, but Esteban Saveljich should shake off a minor issue to feature in the middle of the defence.

There are not expected to be any major surprises in the away side's XI, with a 4-2-3-1 formation set to include Alvaro Garcia and Isi Palazon in the wide areas, both supporting Falcao in the centre-forward spot.

There might be a change in the number 10 position, though, with Oscar Trejo potentially replacing Unai Lopez, while Ismaila Ciss could be introduced into the midfield alongside Santiago Comesana .

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Kroos, Casemiro, Modric; Vazquez, Benzema, Vinicius

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

We say: Real Madrid 2-1 Rayo Vallecano

Rayo will head to the Bernabeu full of confidence, and we are expecting this to be a very tricky fixture for Real Madrid, particularly after an energy-zapping Champions League contest. That said, Los Blancos are in good form at the moment, and we are backing Ancelotti's side to put another three points on the board here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win 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.Home Win:data

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1Real Sociedad138411910928
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6Rayo Vallecano136251914520
8Athletic Bilbao12462118318
15Celta Vigo133371317-412
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