Rayo Vallecano vs Espanyol predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups as the struggling visitors target a much needed away win.
|Sunday 21st May 2023
Rayo Vallecano vs Espanyol Preview
Rayo Vallecano and Espanyol clash in Vallecas on Sunday in an important game for both sides. The hosts are looking to make a late push for a European place and three points really is essential here if they want to do that. Espanyol have an even greater need to win though with 4 points currently separating them from safety with only 4 games to play.
While they are only 2 points off 7th heading into the matchday, Rayo Vallecano will need to overhaul 4 teams if they want to be playing Conference League football in 2023/24. That will require a really strong end to the campaign but their hopes took a knock last time out as they lost 3-1 at Betis despite a competitive showing at the Benito Villamarin.
Rayo have been a breath of fresh air over the past two years, but there is a real danger that this side will break up in the summer, potentially with or without European qualification. The likes of Santi Comesana and Florian Lejeune are expected to leave and it’d also be a surprise if coach Andoni Iraola extends his stay in Vallecas beyond this season. They have at least convinced Isi Palazon to sign a new deal which in theory will keep him in Madrid until 2028.
As for Espanyol, things couldn’t be much bleaker after a 4-2 derby defeat against Barcelona last weekend pushed them further towards the second tier. The only positive was that most of the sides above them also lost but they’ll need to win 3 of their remaining 4 matches just to hit 40 points and even that isn’t guaranteed to be sufficient for survival.
Defensively they look vulnerable everywhere they go and it’s hard to see their back-line coping too well with Rayo’s intensity and at times considerable attacking quality. Espanyol have let in 3 or more in 4 of their last 6 games and while things weren’t brilliant under Diego Martinez by any means, the decision to remove him and instate the inexperienced Luis Garcia does not appear to have been a good one.
Team News & Possible Lineups
|Mario Suarez, Valentin
Possible XI: Dimitrievski – Fran Garcia, Catena, Mumin, Balliu – Comesana, Ciss – Alvaro Garcia, Trejo, Isi – De Tomas (4-2-3-1)
Coach: Andoni Iraola
Possible XI: Pacheco – Cabrera, Gomez, Montes – Pedrosa, Suarez, Darder, Melamed, Gil – Puado, Joselu (3-5-2)
Coach: Luis Garcia
Score Prediction: Rayo Vallecano 2-1 Espanyol
It’s hard to look past the hosts here with Espanyol showing no real signs of a resurgence and all too often failing to deliver in games that have been vitally important. This is another one but Rayo are strong at home and won’t want to give up on a possible European place without a fight.
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