Atletico Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for expert analysis, the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups ahead of this Madrid derby.
|Sunday 2nd January 2022
|16:15 (local time)
Atletico Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano Preview
There’s a Madrid derby at the Wanda Metropolitano this weekend, or at least there will be, providing Rayo Vallecano’s attempts to get this game called off are unsuccessful. Rayo have announced 17 positive Covid cases which would leave them reliant on B team and youth players to fulfil their XI here.
We don’t know which Rayo players are out but Atletico Madrid have announced that they will be without Antoine Griezmann, Koke, Joao Felix and Hector Herrera here. Los Rojiblancos do have sufficient depth to cope though and will be firm favourites to win this game as a result providing they aren’t hit by a significant number of fresh cases.
Atleti could certainly do with starting the new year in a better manner to how they ended the last. Diego Simeone’s side have lost their last four league games and this is certainly one of the toughest spells they’ve gone through during what is now a decade under Cholo’s leadership. Atleti’s most recent loss was a 2-1 reversal at Granada and they are already effectively out of the title race with securing a top four finish now the only realistic target in LaLiga.
They actually come into this game below neighbours Rayo Vallecano. That’s testament to how brilliantly the newly promoted side have done this season under the leadership of Andoni Iraola. Rayo have the best home record in Europe’s big five leagues but they will be keen to try and be a bit more competitive on the road with only 3 sides in LaLiga having picked up fewer away points.
To an extent those records can be explained by a fixture schedule which has served up considerably kinder home fixtures in 2021. That trend continues here with another tough away game and Rayo will have travelled to all of the current top six following this match but clearly things will balance up in the coming weeks and months.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 5 Atleti Wins, 1 Draw.
- Atletico Madrid have won all of the last 4 meetings to nil.
- They’ve won their last 8 home games vs Rayo.
- Rayo Vallecano haven’t beaten their neighbours since a 2-1 home win in 2013.
Marcos Llorente is out injured for Atleti who have four positive Covid cases including Joao Felix, Koke and Antoine Griezmann.
Rayo have announced 17 positive Covid cases in their first team without revealing identities. They are expected to delve into the reserve team to fill the squad here.
Atletico Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano Predictions
Score Prediction: Atletico Madrid 4-0 Rayo Vallecano
With Rayo expected to be missing most of their first team squad due to Covid-19, it will be a significantly weakened visiting team and one that will have to call on B team and youth players. Despite Atleti’s very poor form, It’s hard to see Rayo standing much chance against the defending champions.
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