Sevilla vs Rayo Vallecano match preview and predictions for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news, predicted lineups and fantasy football picks as Rayo make their top flight return.
|Sunday 15th August 2021
|22:15 (local time)
|Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan
Sevilla vs Rayo Vallecano Preview
Sevilla kick off their third season under Julen Lopetegui with a home game against Rayo Vallecano. They’ll be strong favourites for a top four finish again but any ability to seriously push the top three may depend on their ability to hold onto key players before the window closes, most notably Jules Kounde, who has been strongly linked with Chelsea.
Sevilla have made their living by selling their best players and reinvesting and any fee for Kounde will certainly be a large one. However they are not immune to the difficult financial climate that most Spanish clubs find themselves in and we might not necessarily see much money spent even if Kounde does go. So far their only arrivals have been those of Marko Dmitrovic and Erik Lamela who joined as part of the deal which saw Bryan Gil move to Tottenham.
As a result, their starting XI will have a very familiar look to it from last season and they don’t have any serious selection issues to contend with. As a result, they will be pretty confident about their chances of starting the season with a victory against newly promoted opposition and the return of supporters to the atmospheric Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan also ought to serve to lift spirits in the Sevilla camp.
Rayo Vallecano meanwhile will know they are going to have it tough this season. Along with Elche, they are viewed as the clear favourites for relegation having come up via the play-offs last season. A 2nd Leg win in Girona was enough to seal a return to the top tier and Rayo did have a reputation for delivering against the stronger teams last year which may just offer them some encouragement heading into this season.
They are coached by Andoni Iraola, one of the brightest young coaches in Spain. He does favour a relatively open style of play but with pace out wide, he may resort to a counter-attacking approach throughout much of this season, certainly when Rayo are away from home. They have several players remaining who were at the club during their last stint in the Primera but they’ve mostly resorted in picking up players from Segunda Division clubs this summer so new arrivals Randy Nteka, Pathé Ciss and Iván Balliu need to show they can deliver on the bigger stage.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 5 Sevilla Wins, 1 Draw.
- Sevilla won 5-0 the last time this fixture was played – in LaLiga in April 2019.
- They’ve scored twice or more in all of their last 5 games against Rayo.
- Rayo have lost on all of their last 7 visits to this ground.
Diego Carlos could be rested by Julen Lopetegui having only just returned from the Olympics. Óliver Torres and Luuk de Jong are the only other fitness concerns but neither would have started in any case.
New signing Esteban Saveljich and Randy Nteka are doubts for Rayo.
Predicted Sevilla Starting Lineup:
Bono – Acuna, Kounde, Carlos, Navas – Fernando, Jordán – Ocampos, Gomez, Suso – En-Nesyri (4-2-3-1)
Predicted Rayo Starting Lineup:
Dimitrievski – Fran Garcia, Suarez, Catena, Balliu – Comesaña, Valentin – Alvaro Garcia, Trejo, Palazon – Qasmi (4-2-3-1)
Sevilla vs Rayo Vallecano Predictions
Score Prediction: Sevilla 2-0 Rayo Vallecano
Rayo are going to find it tough at this level you’d imagine and their lack of a proven goalscorer is a real concern. They aren’t going to create anywhere near as many chances this season in the higher league, so scoring goals could be a problem and they don’t have enough defensively to hold off a side as good as Sevilla for 90 minutes.
Fantasy Football Picks
- Fanteam – Jesus Navas
Sevilla look capable of shutting Rayo out in this game and ought to ask questions on both flanks too so Jesus Navas, a surprise exclusion from Spain’s Euro 2020 squad, looks a good pick for your fantasy team.