Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid will hit the road to square up against high-flying Rayo Vallecano at Estadio de Vallecas.

Rayo Vallecano have been in sensational form since the start of the new season, and they are ready to host Atletico Madrid at home. Diego Simeone’s team have not been at their very best, but they will surely give Vallecano a run for their money.

The home team are currently third in the points table thanks to back-to-back wins at the start of the season. They have not just won both their games but also kept a clean sheet in both encounters. On Matchday 1, Rayo Vallecano defeated Almeria 2-0.

They repeated a similar sort of performance on Matchday 2 with a 2-0 win over Granada. The home team will head into this encounter high on confidence expected to seal another win. But this time, it won’t be easy as they host one of the title contenders in Atletico Madrid.

Deigo Simeone’s men were not at their best last season. But, a lot has changed since and they are expected to push for the La Liga title this time around. The Rojiblancos got off to a perfect start thanks to a 3-1 win over Granada.

But, in their second league outing of the new season, they ended up playing a 0-0 draw against Real Betis. They were not the best team on the pitch and did not deserve anything much more than a point. However, having dropped points last time out, they will be eager to get things right in this away fixture.

While Rayo Vallecano will head into this high on confidence, Atletico Madrid will be eager to bounce back. It is going to be a closely contested fixture. Meanwhile, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the squads and tries to predict the tactics they could use.

Team News & Tactics

Rayo Vallecano

Franciso Rodriguez does not have much to worry about in terms of injuries or suspensions. His only concern is the fitness of Andres Martin, who has been struggling with a muscular issue.

The home team are expected to stick with the same core given that they have got the desired results of late. They will start with a 4-4-2, where Stole Dimitrievski will be in goal.

In the heart of the defence, Florian Lejeune will pair up with Aridane Hernandez. The duo will have a tough assignment at hand of stopping the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Memphis Depay. They will have the support of full-backs Alfonso Espino and Ivan Balliu.

Isi Palazon and Alvaro Garcia will start out wide in the centre of the park. They will look to provide the width to their attacks and also help out their full-backs. Meanwhile, Unai Lopez and Oscar Valentín will be in more central roles trying to control the pace of the game. In the final third, Jorge de Frutos will have the support of Randy Nteka as they look to get past a solid defensive unit.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Dimitrievski; Balliu, Aridane, Lejeune, Espino; Palazon, Unai Lopez, Valentin, Alvaro Garcia; De Frutos, Nteka

Rayo Vallecano vs Atletico Madrid Predicted XI

Atletico Madrid

The visitors will be without the services of Reinildo, Jose Gimenez, Koke and Angel Correa as they are all out injured. Meanwhile, there are doubts over the availability of Yannick Carrasco due to a muscular problem.

Apart from the above-mentioned names, everyone else is expected to be fit and ready to go for the match against Rayo Vallecano. Diego Simeone will continue with the 3-5-2 formation where the dependable Jan Oblak will be in goal.

The back three will consist of Stefan Savic, Alex Witsel and Mario Hermoso. All three have been doing wonders for Atletico Madrid over the years and are expected to get the job done this time out.

Former Chelsea skipper Cesar Azpilicueta and Samuel Lino will be the wing-backs for this fixture. The midfield three will be made up of Marcos Llorente, Rodrigo De Paul and Thomas Lemar. The trio will look to dictate the pace of the game and have the majority of the ball possession. As far as the attack is concerned, Memphis Depay will start alongside the dangerous Antoine Griezmann.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Oblak; Savic, Witsel, Hermoso; Azpilicueta, Llorente, De Paul, Lemar, Lino; Memphis, Griezmann

Rayo Vallecano vs Atletico Madrid Predicted XI

Key Stats

  • Atletico Madrid have won 17 out of their last 28 matches against Rayo Vallecano.
  • The home team are unbeaten in their last 12 matches against Atletico Madrid in the league.
  • Diego Simeone’s team have only lost one of their last 12 away league matches against Rayo Vallecano. Their last defeat came back in 2013.
  • Rayo Vallecano have only won three out of their last 28 matches against the visitors.
  • The home team have only lost one out of their last six Madrid derbies in the league on a Monday. Their last such defeat was against Leganes back in 2019.

Player to Watch

Memphis Depay

Embed from Getty Images

Injuries ruined the 2022/23 season for Memphis Depay, who was unavailable for the majority of the fixtures. He played a total of just 520 minutes of football and ended up scoring five goals. He spent the first half of the season at Barcelona and then joined Atletico Madrid.

The 29-year-old Dutch international is fully fit and has already been involved in two matches this season. He has found the back of the net once and would love to add to it when he takes the field against the home team. Depay will be eager to prove himself in La Liga and keep his place in the starting XI intact, and he might end up being the difference between the two teams.


Rayo Vallecano 1-2 Atletico Madrid

The home team are heading into this match on the back of two consecutive wins in the league. They are currently third on the points table and will look to continue the incredible run with a win over Atletico Madrid.

But, it won’t be that easy as Diego Simeone’s men will be desperate for a win after playing out a draw last time out. They were not are their best and are expected to give it their all to claim all three points in this fixture.

While recent form suggests Vallecano could have the upper hand, the reality is that the Colchoneros have much more quality in their ranks, and they might end up on top here. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 win for the visitors.

Comments 1

  1. Tutu says:

    Atletico win

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