Rayo Vallecano vs Villarreal predictions and match preview for Thursday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the Yellow Submarine head to Vallecas.
|Thursday 12th May 2022
|20:00 (local time)
Rayo Vallecano vs Villarreal Preview
Villarreal head to Vallecas on Thursday night for a game which is of real significance for the visitors. Rayo Vallecano are now mathematically safe so can afford to relax and enjoy what will be their penultimate runout at home this season and they are sure to get a good reception from the Vallecas crowd.
Rayo secured survival at the weekend with a 0-0 draw at Getafe and sit in 12th place (at the time of writing). While it is clearly true that the second half of their season has not lived up to the first, that’s still a fantastic achievement for Andoni Iraola and his players. They were just about everyone’s relegation favourites back in August having come up via the play-offs and having spent little on new recruits, but they quickly rose to the challenge of playing in a higher tier, particularly in front of their own fans.
Their decline in the second half of the campaign can largely be explained by a much tougher set of home fixtures. They are now winless in 8 league games in Vallecas, having won 8 of their opening 9 home fixtures this term. They’d love to give their fans one last victory to celebrate but their final day home game against Levante may provide a better opportunity to do just that.
Following Champions League elimination, Villarreal are now focused on securing European football again in 2022/23. They only need to finish 7th to do that and currently hold a one point advantage on Athletic in 8th with a game in hand. However, Unai Emery will be very keen to try to pip Real Sociedad to 6th which would mean Europa League rather than Conference League football.
While the Yellow Submarine are currently 3 points shy of La Real, they are still masters of their own destiny in the race for 6th given the two sides will meet in a key game this weekend. Villarreal have to take care of business here though first and they will need to be more clinical than they were at the weekend when they spurned some good chances in a 1-1 draw against a lacklustre Sevilla side which snatched an equaliser in the 95th minute.
Head to Head
- Last 6 Competitive Meetings: 4 Villarreal Wins, 1 Rayo Win, 1 Draw.
- Villarreal have won all of the last 3 meetings.
- That includes a 2-0 win at the Ceramica earlier this term.
- However Rayo have taken 7 points from their last 3 home league games against Villarreal.
|Alberto Moreno, Gerard Moreno, Estupinan
Rayo Vallecano vs Villarreal Predictions
Score Prediction: Rayo Vallecano 1-3 Villarreal
Rayo Vallecano may struggle to play with their usual intensity here on what will be a warm evening in Madrid and with nothing left to play for. Villarreal are clearly very hungry to push for Europa League qualification and they ought to have too much quality for Rayo despite some notable absentees.
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