Elche vs Rayo Vallecano predictions and match preview for Saturday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups as Rayo aim to close in on the European places.
|Saturday 29th April 2023
|Manuel Martinez Valero
Elche vs Rayo Vallecano Preview
Elche go in search of their third win of the season and first points since sacking Pablo Machin when they host Rayo Vallecano this weekend. The visitors are fresh from a fine win over Barcelona and are hoping to bolster their European ambitions with three more points here.
There was almost a first point for Sebastián Beccacece in Vigo this week with Elche holding Celta heading into the final minute of the game. However Joseph Aidoo popped up with a 90th minute header to win the game for the Galicians and condemn Elche to a 6th straight defeat, 5 of which have come under the guidance of their recently appointed Argentine boss.
Elche have only netted once under Beccacece so far and with their defensive problems ensuring they never look like keeping a clean sheet, they’ll do well to significantly add to their tally between now and the end of the season. They need just one more point to avoid going down in history as the joint worst side ever to play a 38-game season in LaLiga.
That should provide some motivation at least but there is no shortage of that in the Rayo camp. They produced another fine home performance to upset Barcelona once more in midweek with Fran Garcia and Alvaro Garcia on target in a 2-1 win. Athletic’s defeat on Thursday means they are now just 3 points off 7th and a potential European place heading into this matchday.
This busy period does present a challenge for Rayo though. In terms of squad depth, they are one of the weakest sides in the division with their back-up players a notable downgrade on their starters in almost every position. That leaves Andoni Iraola with a bit of a dilemma in terms of whether to use this game against weak opposition as a chance to rotate his squad, or whether to attempt to soldier on with his strongest eleven. They do at least have a bit of a break before Thursday’s clash with Real Valladolid in Vallecas.
Team News & Possible Lineups
|Josan, Palacios, Mascarell
Possible XI: Badia – Clerc, Verdu, Magallan – John – Josan, Fidel, Gumbau, Morente – Milla, Boye (3-1-4-2)
Coach: Sebastián Beccacece
Possible XI: Dimitrievski – Fran Garcia, Catena, Lejeune, Balliu – Comesana, Valentin – Alvaro Garcia, Trejo, Isi – Camello (4-2-3-1)
Coach: Andoni Iraola
Score Prediction: Elche 1-1 Rayo Vallecano
Rayo are a curious side in that some of their best wins this season have been quickly followed by poor performances and they have only won 1 of their 5 away games so far against sides currently in the bottom six. They’ll struggle to replicate Wednesday’s energy and intensity here and Elche may just have enough to get a point, although even that may not prevent them from being relegated this weekend.
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