Real Sociedad vs Rayo Vallecano predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news, predicted lineups and fantasy football picks as both sides target their first points of the season.
|Sunday 22nd August 2021
|17:00 (local time)
Real Sociedad vs Rayo Vallecano Preview
Sunday’s action in LaLiga kicks off in Donostia with a meeting between Real Sociedad and newly promoted Rayo Vallecano. The hosts will be firm favourites to pick up their first points of the season following defeat at Camp Nou on the opening weekend.
La Real’s habit of developing talented young footballers was to some extent to their detriment last weekend as they started the new season with a host of players only just returning from international tournaments. Mikel Merino, Martín Zubimendi and Mikel Oyarzabal all featured in the Olympics for Spain, the Final of which was only a week before MD1 in LaLiga. The latter was also at Euro 2020 so it’s not ideal for Real Sociedad to be heading into the new season in such circumstances and despite a late rally and a fine Oyarzabal free-kick, they were pretty well beaten by Barcelona.
The expectation will certainly be that they get back to winning ways here. A lack of ruthlessness resulted in them winning less than half of their home games last season in LaLiga and that’s a bit disappointing given the quality they have. There may also be some doubts as to whether David Silva is still the elite level footballer he once was but he will be keen to answer such questions here in the kind of game that really ought to be perfect for him.
That’s because Rayo Vallecano are just about everyone’s favourites to go down this season and little we saw on the opening weekend changed that impression. They lost 3-0 at Sevilla and were outplayed for basically the entire game although their cause was certainly not helped by an early red card for goalkeeper Luca Zidane.
Their tough start continues with a game that could be every bit as difficult for Andoni Iraola’s side. They really need to add a bit of quality to this squad over the coming fortnight as right now it just doesn’t look to have anywhere near enough to seriously compete at this level. Their striker shortage is perhaps emphasised by the fact they started summer signing Randy Nteka, primarily an attacking midfielder by trade, up front against Sevilla. A new number nine will be a priority before the transfer window closes.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 2 Real Sociedad Wins, 1 Rayo Win, 3 Draws.
- The sides last met in LaLiga 2018/19.
- Both meetings ended 2-2 that season.
- Rayo have only lost on 1 of their last 4 league visits to Donostia, winning twice.
Nacho Monreal and Carlos Fernandez are out injured for La Real. Igor Zubeldia remains a doubt and may not be risked.
Luca Zidane is banned for Rayo so Stole Dimitrievski should start in goal. Centre-back Esteban Saveljich is a doubt.
Predicted Real Sociedad Starting Lineup:
Remiro – Munoz, Le Normand, Elustondo, Gorosabel – Zubimendi – Portu, Silva, Merino, Oyarzabal – Isak (4-1-4-1)
Predicted Rayo Vallecano Starting Lineup:
Dimitrievski – F Garcia, Catena, Suarez, Balliu – Comesana, Valentin – Garcia, Trejo, Palazon – Nteka (4-2-3-1)
Real Sociedad vs Rayo Vallecano Predictions
Score Prediction: Real Sociedad 3-0 Rayo Vallecano
It’s hard to find many positives for Rayo Vallecano right now as they still very much look and feel like a Segunda Division side trying to make the grade at the top level. Trips to Sevilla and Real Sociedad won’t define their season but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see them on the end of another relatively heavy defeat here – hardly the ideal way to kick off a new campaign.
Fantasy Football Picks
- Fanteam – Alexander Isak