La Liga leaders Real Madrid will look to build on their El Clasico win over Barcelona when they host Rayo Vallecano.

Rayo Vallecano are all set to hit the road to square up against league leaders Real Madrid. Both teams have been unbeaten in the league of late, and they will look to maintain their run when they square up against each other.

Real Madrid have won nine out of their 11 league games this season. They are sitting top of the points table with 28 points to their name. Girona are level on points with Los Blancos, but they trail on goal difference, and their only loss of the season came against the team in white.

Real Madrid are heading into this fixture on the back of a big El Clasico win. Despite not being the best team on the day, Carlo Ancelotti’s men came out on top against a strong Barcelona outfit. Jude Bellingham scored twice to give Real Madrid all three points, and they will look to carry on in similar fashion when they face Rayo Vallecano.

The visitors are currently eighth on the points table. They have been unbeaten in their last seven league games. Rayo Vallecano have won four, drawn five and lost twice so far, and they have accumulated 17 points. It has not been the best of starts but they have made sure that they do not lose games with ease.

Francisco’s men are heading into this fixture on the back of a 6-0 win over Atletico Lugones in the Copa del Rey. It was quite an easy day in the office for the visitors, but they are coming up against a team that knows how to win games on Sunday. So, it won’t be easy to get a positive result against them. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams and tries to predict the tactics they could deploy.

Team News & Tactics

Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti will be without the services of Aurelien Tchouameni, Thibaut Courtois, and Eder Militao. Apart from the trio, the availability of Ferland Mendy, Dani Ceballos and Arda Guler is still doubtful.

The home team will go ahead with the 4-4-2 formation with a diamond in the centre of the park. Kepa Arrizabalaga will continue in goal. Fran Garcia and Dani Carvajal will be the full-backs. In the heart of the defence, David Alaba will pair up with Antonio Rudiger.

Eduardo Camavinga will feature as the holding midfielder in the centre of the park in the absence of Tchouameni. Federico Valverde will feature on the right side of the centre of the park, while Luka Modric could return to starting XI on the left.

Jude Bellingham will continue as the attacking midfielder behind the two strikers. The former Borussia Dortmund star and Kopa Trophy winner will feature in behind the Brazilian duo of Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius Junior.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Kepa; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Garcia; Valverde, Camavinga, Modric; Bellingham; Rodrygo, Vinicius

Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano Predicted XI

Rayo Vallecano

Francisco Rodriguez has a fully-fit squad for this fixture. There are no fresh injuries to report from the visitor’s side, and they will most likely field the exact XI that started against Real Sociedad last weekend.

Francisco will go ahead with the 4-4-1-1 formation, where Stole Dimitrievski will be in goal. Alfonso Espino and Ivan Balliu will feature as the full-backs. The duo will have the support of Florian Lejeune and Abdul Mumin who will take charge in the heart of the defence.

Isi Palazon and Alvaro Garcia will start out wide in the centre of the park. The duo will help out the full-backs when needed and they will also look to provide width to their attack.

Meanwhile, Unai Lopez and Pathe Ciss will be in a more central role. The duo will look to intercept passes and initiate counter-attacks. They will also look to ensure Real Madrid do not dominate possession too deep in their half. Oscar Trejo will feature as the attacking midfielder behind their striker Raul de Tomas.

Probable Lineup (4-4-1-1): Dimitrievski; Balliu, Mumin, Lejeune, Espino; Palazon, U Lopez, Ciss, A Garcia; Trejo; De Tomas

Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano Predicted XI

Key Stats

  • Real Madrid have been unbeaten in their last seven games. They have won six of those fixtures.
  • Rayo Vallecano are on an eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
  • Los Blancos have the best defence in the league, having only conceded just eight goals.
  • The visitors have only won one out of their last six league games. They have played out five draws during this period.

Player to Watch

Luka Modric

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Modric came on as a substitute against Barcelona in the Clasico. He had a huge impact on the game, the 38-year-old turned the tide of the game in Real Madrid’s favour. The reigning champions were dominating the proceeding when the Croatian international decided to change the tempo and helped Los Blancos win.

He might be 38, but Modric is still a very important player for the team in white. He has racked up just over 500 minutes in 12 outings. But, the veteran Croat is expected to feature from the get-go against Rayo Vallecano and could surely have a big say in the result of this game.


Real Madrid 2-0 Rayo Vallecano

The visitors have been unbeaten for a while now. They have not lost in the league since the start of September but they have not managed to win many games either. Rayo Vallecano have played out way too many draws, and they are unlikely to get past Real Madrid.

Real Madrid have also been unbeaten since losing to Atletico Madrid towards the end of September. They have won all of their games apart from the draw against Sevilla since that defeat. The home side are in red-hot form, and they will most likely get the better of Rayo Vallecano at home. The Hard Tackle predicts an easy 2-0 win for the home team.

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