Rayo Vallecano vs Barcelona predictions and match preview for Wednesday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for expert analysis, the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as Ronald Koeman takes his team to Vallecas.
|Wednesday 27th October 2021
|19:00 (local time)
Rayo Vallecano vs Barcelona Preview
One of the most eye-catching fixtures this midweek in LaLiga sees Barcelona travel to Vallecas to take on a Rayo Vallecano side that is in great home form. This is certainly another fixture where there is a genuine chance the Catalans could sink to fresh lows and it’s perhaps not the ideal game for Barça’s under-fire boss to have so soon after a Clasico defeat.
Rayo Vallecano have every reason to believe they can cause an upset. They’ve been on fire at their own ground, winning every home match so far on their return to LaLiga Santander. They’ve scored 12 goals across their 4 outings in Vallecas with Andoni Iraola’s side defying all pre-season expectations that suggested at best they’d certainly be looking at a relegation battle.
It should be noted that their four home wins have all come against bottom eight teams with Elche, Cadiz, Getafe and Granada all expected to struggle too. However Iraola’s men have shown they can mix it with some of the stronger sides on their travels too and they gave Real Betis a scare on Sunday by fighting back from 2-0 down to level the game before conceding to a late Willian Jose penalty at the Benito Villamarin.
Barcelona meanwhile come into the game following a somewhat predictable Clasico defeat. While they were by no means outclassed by Real Madrid, they were vulnerable to counter-attacks throughout the game and it wasn’t a huge surprise when Carlo Ancelotti’s side got their goals in that manner in what was ultimately a 2-1 win. Sergio Aguero’s late goal, his first for the club, was a mere consolation on a disappointing afternoon which ended with Ronald Koeman being abused by fans on his departure from Camp Nou.
It feels as though his legacy as the player who scored that maiden European Cup winning goal in 1992 for the club has been tarnished whatever happens from here. At times, some of that criticism has gone way overboard given the number of problems at the club behind the scenes during his tenure. There were even plenty of positive signs on the pitch during the middle part of last season but it does now feel like Koeman is a dead man walking with little to suggest he has the answers as Barcelona progress through their first post-Messi season.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 6 Barcelona Wins.
- All of the last 6 meetings have seen Barcelona win and both teams score.
- Barcelona won 2-1 here earlier this year in the Copa del Rey.
- They’ve won their last 14 matches against Rayo in all competitions.
Martín Merquelanz continues to be Rayo’s only absentee.
Barcelona have problems in midfield with both Frenkie de Jong and Pedri injured and missing here. Martin Braithwaite, Ronald Araujo and Ousmane Dembele are also out. Sergio Aguero could rotate in up front with Ansu Fati or Memphis Depay perhaps getting a rest.
Predicted Rayo Vallecano Starting Lineup:
Dimitrievski – Garcia, Catena, Saveljich, Balliu – Comesana, Valentin – Garcia, Trejo, Palazon – Falcao (4-2-3-1)
Predicted Barcelona Starting Lineup:
Ter Stegen – Alba, Garcia, Pique, Dest – Roberto, Busquets, Gavi – Depay, Aguero, Coutinho (4-3-3)
Rayo Vallecano vs Barcelona Predictions
Score Prediction: Rayo Vallecano 2-2 Barcelona
This ought to be an entertaining affair. Rayo Vallecano are a positive side and there is no danger of them simply parking the bus against their illustrious opponents. They have the tools to hurt Barcelona too but the likes of Memphis Depay ought to get a bit more space to play in than they have against some opponents and that may just suit them. We should see an open game with chances and goals at both ends.