Rayo Vallecano vs Espanyol predictions and match preview for this Friday’s clash in La Liga. Read on for our analysis as Rubi’s men aim to keep up their bright start in Vallecas.
DATE/TIME – Friday 28th September 2018, 21:00 (CEST)
STADIUM – Campo de Fútbol de Vallecas
COMPETITION – La Liga
Rayo Vallecano vs Espanyol Preview
With match-day six only barely finished, there is no break in the action in La Liga, as the next round of fixtures commences on Friday with Espanyol travelling to Madrid to take on Rayo Vallecano. The Barcelona club have made a really good start to the season although the vast majority of their points have come at home. The opposite is true of Rayo who have performed well on the road but have been blown away twice in Vallecas and will be determined to get their first home points of the season here.
Rayo have tended to be an entertaining if not always successful team whenever they’ve appeared in the top flight over the past decade and already something similar looks like it could be in the pipeline. Their season has already been an eventful one with their ground briefly closed which resulted in the postponement of their home clash with Athletic. That might not have been such a bad thing judging by their two home displays so far. They were beaten 4-1 by Sevilla on the opening day and lost 5-1 to Alaves last weekend with an early red card a major factor in that outcome. They were better in midweek though, drawing 2-2 at Real Sociedad so they can take some confidence into this game.
Espanyol will do likewise after a 1-0 win over Eibar moved them into the top six. It was their third victory of the season and so far they are exceeding pre-season expectations. New boss Rubi will be hoping his honeymoon period will continue a while longer but they have only picked up a solitary point from their three road games so far.
It’ll be interesting to see how Rayo approach this. They’ve been pretty adventurous but there must be some temptation to try and tighten things up a touch following those two heavy home defeats. Espanyol have been a more cautious side over the past 12 months or so and that hasn’t totally changed following the change in coach. Good results like they’ve had bring an element of increased expectancy though and certainly in a fixture such as this, they should be a bit more adventurous than they tend to be on the road.
Rayo Vallecano vs Espanyol Predictions
Score Prediction: Rayo Vallecano 2-2 Espanyol
Overall this is quite a tough one to predict the outcome of. Rayo are better than their opening two home displays suggest and of the three promoted teams, they have the most in terms of genuine top flight quality. However it is taking them time to adapt to the level and they are making too many defensive errors. There should be chances in this for Espanyol as a result but Rayo are capable of some good football with pace down the flanks and a decent finisher in the shape of Raul de Tomas up front. Therefore this game has every chance of ending up with a few goals and perhaps a score draw.
Rayo Vallecano vs Espanyol H2H & Match Stats
- Only 10% of Espanyol’s points this season have come away from home.
- Espanyol centre-back Mario Hermoso is the only player on either side to have netted more than once so far this season.
- Rayo have conceded 9 times in their opening 2 home matches.
- They are chasing their first home league win since May 2016 – 3-1 vs Levante.
- The last 4 meetings between these clubs have produced 5 red cards.
- The last 5 meetings in Vallecas have produced 2 Rayo wins and 3 for Espanyol.
One to Watch – Gael Kakuta
Cheeky little backheel here, from Gael Kakuta. Skills to pay the bills. pic.twitter.com/65qc5z9QMT
— Eleven Sports (@ElevenSports_UK) September 22, 2018
Gael Kakuta has become something of a journeyman winger since his days as a Football Manager wonderkid. However the winger signed a four-year deal with Rayo Vallecano this summer and with a permanent home at last, he is threatening to truly start delivering on his early promise.
Predicted Line Ups
Possible Rayo Vallecano Team:
Garcia – Moreno, Ba, Amat, Advincula – Trejo, Comesana, Imbula – Kakuta, Tomas, Garcia (4-3-3)
Possible Espanyol Team:
Diego Lopez – Javi Lopez, Duarte, Hermoso, Vila – Darder, Roca, Granero – Baptistao, Iglesias, Garcia (4-3-3)