Athletic Club vs Rayo Vallecano predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups as Rayo travel to Bilbao.
|Saturday 17th September 2022
|21:00 (local time)
Athletic Club vs Rayo Vallecano Preview
Saturday’s action in LaLiga concludes at San Mames where Andoni Iraola is back on familiar turf. His Rayo side are hoping for a repeat of last season’s surprise victory in Bilbao which also came early in the campaign.
Radamel Falcao was the hero that day for Rayo but Athletic look a slightly stronger team now. Ernesto Valverde deserves credit for that. He has once again made a positive impression in a job he knows so well. 10 points from 5 games is a good return, although it’s certainly true that they’ve not had a particularly difficult set of fixtures so far.
They’ve scored four in convincing away wins at Elche and Cadiz, although in both cases they benefited from some very charitable defending. At home, it has been a slightly different story and they’ve only managed to score once in three outings at San Mames so far. They are perhaps a team that will struggle in games where opponents opt to defend deep but Rayo aren’t the kind of side who will show up here and simply park the bus.
Iraola’s side look to play on the front foot whenever possible and they claimed an important win last weekend. Their 2-1 victory over Valencia was their first in Vallecas this calendar year in LaLiga and they’ll be happy to have finally broken their home duck for 2022. We saw a familiar lineup in that game for Rayo whose best eleven hasn’t changed much from last season with Oscar Valentin and Santi Comesaña reunited in midfield once more against Los Che.
The only question mark really has been over the striker role with Sergio Camello currently leading the line. The Atleti loanee will only have a couple of months to make a real impression though with confirmation this week that Raul De Tomas has signed for the club from Espanyol. He’ll be available from January onwards and while the whole De Tomas transfer saga this summer is quite a sorry tale, there can be little doubt that his capture is a real coup for Rayo.
Team News & Possible Lineups
|Balenziaga, Yuri, Agirrezabala, Vesga
Possible XI: Simon – Lekue, Yeray, Martinez, De Marcos – Dani Garcia, Sancet – Berenguer, Muniain, Nico Williams – Inaki Williams (4-2-3-1)
Coach: Ernesto Valverde
|Andres Martin, Salvi Sanchez, Diego Lopez
Possible XI: Dimitrievski – Garcia, Catena, Lejeune, Balliu – Comesana, Valentin – Alvaro Garcia, Trejo, Isi – Camello (4-2-3-1)
Coach: Andoni Iraola
Score Prediction: Athletic Club 2-1 Rayo Vallecano
Athletic have struggled for goals at home so far but it might just suit them that Rayo will come here and look to play a bit of football. That should create a bit of space for the likes of Nico Williams who scored a brilliant goal at Elche last weekend and looks like he could be a really important player this season for the Basques. A home victory looks the most likely outcome here.
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