Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Club predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups as Andoni Iraola comes up against his old club.
|Date||Sunday 5th March 2023|
Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Club Preview
Rayo Vallecano and Athletic Club clash at Vallecas this weekend in what is an important game in the race for European positions. Both sides will sense an opportunity to kick on and clinch a spot in at least the Conference League next season but both will need better results than the ones they’ve been getting of late.
Andoni Iraola’s side are in the midst of a minor slump in form which has seen them only take 2 points from their last 3 games. That culminated in a poor 1-0 defeat at lowly Cadiz with the Rayo boss experimenting a bit by starting both Raul De Tomas and Sergio Camello in the same team. The experiment didn’t deliver the results he’d have hoped for and it’ll be interesting to see whether Camello or De Tomas gets the nod in attack here with a return to 4-2-3-1 likely.
That’s the only real selection dilemma that might be giving Iraola sleepless nights as this Rayo side largely picks itself. There will be one other forced change here though with centre-back Alejandro Catena suspended. That should pave the way for Abdul Mumin to come into the team, a relatively rare opportunity for the Ghanaian.
Athletic Club are not enjoying their most convincing period in the season either. They’ve lost 5 of their last 7 in LaLiga including a really poor 3-2 home defeat against Girona last time out where they let 3 goals in before the break. It wasn’t the ideal way to head into their Copa del Rey Semi-Final 1st Leg tie against Osasuna and they duly lost that match too, although only by a 1-0 margin.
With leaders Barcelona visiting San Mames next weekend, Athletic could really do with getting a positive result here, otherwise they may well find their European hopes looking considerably slimmer in a couple of weeks. They have a few defensive issues right now with no clean sheets in their last 7 league games but they do at least have Inigo Martinez fit again and Yeray’s suspension is likely to push him into a starting role.
Team News & Possible Lineups
Possible XI: Dimitrievski – Fran Garcia, Mumin, Lejeune, Balliu – Comesana, Valentin – Alvaro Garcia, Trejo, Isi – Camello (4-2-3-1)
Coach: Andoni Iraola
Possible XI: Simon – Yuri, Inigo Martinez, Vivian, De Marcos – Vesga, Muniain, Sancet – Berenguer, I. Williams, N. Williams (4-3-3)
Coach: Ernesto Valverde
Score Prediction: Rayo Vallecano 1-1 Athletic Club
There hasn’t been a lot to choose between these teams all season and the league table reflects that. Both are capable of periods of high quality football but have struggled for consistency of late and this one feels very difficult to call in terms of a clear winner.
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