Rayo Vallecano vs Real Betis predictions and match preview for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey Semi-Final 1st Leg. Read on for expert analysis as Rayo seek to make the most of home advantage in Vallecas.
|Date||Wednesday 9th February 2022|
|Kick-Off||21:00 (local time)|
|Competition||Copa del Rey|
Rayo Vallecano vs Real Betis Preview
The Copa del Rey Semi-Finals kick off on Wednesday night in Vallecas. With none of last season’s top four in LaLiga left in the competition and only one of the top nine, this feels wide open now and it’s a fantastic opportunity for one of those sides to get their hands on a trophy. Rayo weren’t even in the top flight this time twelve months ago and despite their heroics in LaLiga this term, they will still be viewed as the underdogs of the four teams left.
They will know they have to make home advantage count on Wednesday night. A return of just one point from their last seven road games in LaLiga, including a 2-0 weekend loss in Vigo, certainly suggests Rayo may have a hard time of it in the 2nd Leg at the Benito Villamarin but in Vallecas they are a different animal. They have a 75% win ratio in all competitions at home this season and will be backed by another passionate crowd here as Rayo bask in the glory of their first Copa del Rey Semi-Final in 40 years.
Their Quarter-Final win over Mallorca last week was marred by fresh problems off the pitch to further strain the relationship between the fans and those running the club. The section behind the goal was empty as the game began with supporters from the Bukaneros supporters group barred from entering. Many finally got in, without shirts, on a cold winter night in the Spanish capital. Rayo’s hierarchy have extended a rare olive branch by offering season ticket holders free entry to this game but it’s unlikely to quell the anger that many fans feel at what should be a wonderful time to be a follower of the Madrid club.
As for Real Betis, they travel to the capital as the favourites to go on and win this competition. You wonder if they’d perhaps rather that wasn’t the case given everything they’ve achieved since the start of last year as a relatively unfancied side but it’s testament to the quality of some of their recent displays. They’ve scored four goals in 3 of their last 4 matches, including a thumping 4-0 win at Real Sociedad last week in the last eight.
There was a weekend setback though, as they lost 2-0 at home to Villarreal in LaLiga. Unlike his opposite number who rested key players in Rayo’s weekend loss, Manuel Pellegrini named a strong XI and the only concern with Betis may be that fatigue starts to set in during what is a very busy period in the season which also sees them in Europa League action over the next fortnight.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 2 Betis Wins, 4 Draws.
- The last 3 meetings here have been drawn including a 2-2 draw in the Copa del Rey two years ago in a clash which then Segunda Division Rayo won on penalties.
- However Rayo have gone 8 games without beating Betis inside 90 minutes in all competitions.
- Their last victory came via a 3-1 margin at home in LaLiga in April 2014.
Rayo Vallecano vs Real Betis Predictions
Score Prediction: Rayo Vallecano 1-1 Real Betis
This could be a cracking tie and it’s going to be really interesting to see how the two coaches approach the 1st Leg. If Betis back themselves to continue in their current free-scoring ways, we could have a wide open game with plenty of goals. However in the 1st Leg, it’s perhaps more likely that a bit of caution will prevail and Manuel Pellegrini will know full well that his side will be firm favourites to advance in four weeks time at the Benito Villamarin if they can merely avoid defeat in Vallecas. The visitors don’t really need to throw caution to the wind here and may leave with a draw.
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