High-flying Rayo Vallecano face a tough challenge this weekend as they make the short trip to the Santiago Bernabeu to play Real Madrid on Saturday night. Los Franjirrojos did emerge victorious the last time these clubs met, but Rayo haven’t won away to Madrid in over 25 years.
Where and when: Santiago Bernabeu – 6 October, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Real Madrid vs. Rayo Vallecano: Premier Sports
Last time: Adri Embarba scored from the penalty spot to hand Vallecano a memorable 1-0 victory when these teams last met in April 2019.
Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano Predictions and Preview
Just five miles may separate these two clubs in terms of distance, but they are planets apart in terms of stature and pedigree. That said, Rayo Vallecano have been making waves on their return to the top flight this season, and come into this clash with Real Madrid just four points behind Los Blancos, albeit having played a game more.
Rayo have won half of their opening 12 matches this term, having secured promotion from the Segunda via a play-off at the end of last season. Real have only managed one more victory from their opening 11 fixtures, with Vallecano flying high up in sixth place and able to move within a single point of their more illustrious neighbours with a win this weekend.
Andoni Iraola will have to achieve what no Rayo coach has managed since January 1996 though, when Marcos Alonso led Los Franjirrojos to a 2-1 triumph at the Bernabeu. Los Blancos have won 10 of the 11 meetings between the clubs on home soil since, and they are the 2/5 favourites to take the points in this Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano preview.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side may have less time to prepare for this game following Wednesday’s home game against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, but they have the squad to deal with that. However, Mariano Diaz, Rodrygo and Federico Valverde are unlikely to be available for this game, with Dani Ceballos also a doubt for the hosts.
The away team only have concerns over Martin Merquelanz, and they’ll have the whole week to work on their game plan for Saturday’s tough trip across the capital. If you fancy Iraola to hatch the perfect plan, you can back Rayo for the victory at 73/10, although given their record at the Bernabeu, a draw may be Vallecano’s ceiling at 9/2.
One to watch for Real Madrid: Vinicius Junior is coming of age this season, netting another decisive brace in Los Blancos’ 2-1 victory at Elche last weekend. The Brazilian is one to keep a close eye on at 5/1 in the first goalscorer market in these Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano predictions.
One to watch for Rayo Vallecano: Radamel Falcao has been showing his enduring class on his return to Spain this term, netting four goals in his first seven games for Los Franjirrojos. The Colombian was the hero in the recent 1-0 victory over Barcelona and is 17/2 to break the deadlock again this weekend.
Long shot: Madrid recorded one of their biggest ever wins in thrashing Vallecano 10-2 at the Bernabeu in December 2015, as Cristiano Ronaldo scored two, Karim Benzema three and Gareth Bale four. A big 5-1 home win is 45/1 in these Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano tips, rising to 146/1 if you add Benzema as the first scorer.