Rayo Vallecano vs Barcelona Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats

La Liga leaders Barcelona will look to inch closer to the league title with a win over ninth-placed Rayo Vallecano.

Barcelona managed to return to winning ways with a win over Atletico Madrid in their last outing and will be keen to add another three points to their tally with a win over Rayo Vallecano. Meanwhile, the home team will be eager to bounce back against the Catalan giants after suffering a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Real Sociedad last time around.

Rayo Vallecano ended their eight-game winless streak by winning 2-1 against Osasuna at home. However, they suffered their tenth defeat of the La Liga season against Real Sociedad, losing 2-1.

Earlier this year, the home team were in the running for a top-six finish. But their form has slumped in recent months. And, they are now in ninth place, seven points behind Villarreal in sixth. Nonetheless, Rayo can still match or surpass their best-ever La Liga position of eighth place, which they achieved in the 2012/13 campaign. They are just one point behind Osasuna in eighth place.

Andoni Iraola’s team will be hopeful of securing a positive result on Wednesday as they have been unbeaten in their last three encounters against Barcelona. Meanwhile, the visitors secured a 1-0 victory over Atletico Madrid, ending their winless run. Barcelona are currently 11 points ahead of second-placed Real Madrid.

They will secure the La Liga title if they win five of their remaining eight games. The Blaugrana have only lost two games this season, both of which were away matches. The Catalan giants lost 3-1 to Real Madrid and had a shocking 1-0 loss at the hands of Almeria in February.

Barcelona’s chances of success will improve if Robert Lewandowski can find his scoring form. The Polish striker has only scored two goals in his last eight games across all competitions, both in the 4-0 away win over Elche at the beginning of this month. He has drawn a blank in each of his last four outings.

In the reverse fixture, Rayo Vallecano managed to hold off Barcelona to a 0-0 draw. However, it seems they might find it hard to stop the Catalan giants this time around. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at this fixture and tries to predict the tactics they could deploy.

Team News & Tactics

Rayo Vallecano

The home team will be without the services of Radamel Falcao who is out injured. Along with him, Santi Comesana will be unavailable for this fixture due to suspension. Meanwhile, they have a major boost as Alejandro Catena and Alvaro Garcia are both available after serving their suspension.

Andoni Iraola is expected to go ahead with the 4-2-3-1 formation, with Stole Dimitrievski in goal. Ivan Balliu and Fran Garcia will be the full-backs. While they will be busy defending throughout the match, the duo might look to join the attack when the opportunity arises.

Florian Lejeune will pair up with Alejandro Catena in the heart of the defence. Pathe Ciss will join Oscar Valentin to form the double pivot in the centre of the park. They will have the difficult task of not allowing the Barcelona midfielders to control the pace of the game.

Isi Palazon and Alvaro Garcia will start out wide and look to provide the width to their attacker. Meanwhile, Trejo will feature in the role of the attacking midfielder. Sergio Camello will lead the attack against the Catalan giants.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Dimitrievski; Balliu, Lejeune, Catena, Fran Garcia; Ciss, Valentin; Palazon, Trejo, Alvaro Garcia; Camello

Rayo Vallecano predicted XI vs Barcelona


Xavi will be without the services of Ousmane Dembele, Sergi Roberto and Andreas Christensen who are all out injured. Meanwhile, Sergio Busquets is also unavailable as he is serving a one-match suspension.

Apart from the four, everyone else is expected to be available for this fixture. The Spanish manager will start with the 4-3-3 formation where Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be in goal. Jules Kounde and Alejandro Balde should start out wide as the full-backs. Ronald Araujo should partner with Marcos Alonso in the heart of the defence.

In the absence of Busquets, Franck Kessie should be deployed in the holding role. He will have the support of Frenkie de Jong and Gavi in the centre of the park. The trio will have to be at their best to ensure they dictate the game’s pace and force Vallecano onto the back foot.

Raphinha and Ferran Torres, whose future is uncertain, should start out wide as the wingers. Meanwhile, La Liga’s top scorer Robert Lewandowski should be leading the line.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): ter Stegen; Kounde, Araujo, Alonso, Balde; Gavi, Kessie, De Jong; Raphinha, Lewandowski, Torres

Barcelona predicted XI vs Rayo Vallecano

Key Stats

  • Barcelona have the best defence in the league, having conceded only nine goals so far.
  • As far as the attack is concerned, Barcelona have the second-best attack, having scored 54 goals.
  • Rayo Vallecano have an interesting record this season; they have won ten, lost ten and drawn ten out of their 30 matches.
  • Barcelona have only lost twice in the league all season long.
  • Robert Lewandowski has scored 17 goals and has six assists for Barcelona in the league.

Player to Watch

Robert Lewandowski

Embed from Getty Images

Lewandowski is going through a rough patch of late. He has failed to find the back of the net in his four outings and will be eager to get back on the score sheet when he takes the field against the home team.

Having already scored 17 league goals alongside six assists, Xavi will bank on the Poland international to come good against Vallecano. As far as all competitions are concerned, he has 27 goals and seven assists in 38 matches. The former Bayern Munich striker loves scoring goals and he will be eager to add to his tally.


Rayo Vallecano 0-3 Barcelona

Rayo Vallecano have been struggling for form in recent months. But they will be motivated to put up a good fight against Barcelona. They are unbeaten in their last three matches against Barcelona. However, their recent performances have been below par, and they may struggle to contain the Catalan giants’ attacking prowess.

Xavi’s men are in fantastic form, having won their last two matches. And they will be looking to maintain their momentum against Rayo Vallecano. The Hard Tackle predicts a 3-1 in favour of the visitors.

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