Real Madrid host Rayo Vallecano for their 37th games of the La Liga season

Real Madrid welcomes Rayo Vallecano to the Santiago Bernabeu for a La Liga match as they look to avoid their third straight loss in all competitions

(Football news) Los Blancos will be looking to avenge a 3-2 loss they suffered in the rematch at the Estadio de Vallecas in November of last year against their fellow Madrid-based rivals. Real Madrid lost to Valencia 1-0 in La Liga on Sunday, marking their fourth straight away defeat in all competitions and their bitterly painful departure from the Champions League semi-final at the hands of Manchester City.

Just after the half-hour mark, Diego Lopez scored the game’s lone goal, but the Mestalla match was marred by alleged racist taunts directed at Vinicius Junior, which resulted in a 10-minute break in play during the second half. Vinicius Junior was eventually sent off in the game’s closing moments after a scuffle with the opposition. Since then, Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, has expressed “full solidarity” with the Los Blancos striker and emphasised that racism has “no place in football or in society.” Vinicius has since gone on social media to claim that “racism is normal in La Liga.”

With Atletico Madrid moving into second position after beating Osasuna, Real Madrid has dropped to third in the La Liga standings after losing to Valencia. Only twice in the previous nine seasons have Los Blancos finished lower than third in the Spanish top division. Carlo Ancelotti’s primary goal is to achieve second place in La Liga with three games left and no other tournaments to concentrate on for the Copa de Rey champions. The next two games are against Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao after Wednesday’s match against Rayo Vallecano.

With 11 victories over Rayo Vallecano at home in all competitions, including a memorable 10-2 league victory in December 2015, Los Blancos will be confident of getting back to winning ways in midweek. They have also scored at least three goals on eight of those occasions. 

After losing 2-1 to relegation-threatened Espanyol at home last weekend, Rayo Vallecano’s chances of playing in Europe next season were severely damaged. The visitors ultimately won all three points thanks to a goal from Nico Melaned shortly before the hour mark, despite Sergi Darder’s earlier goal being cancelled out by Raul de Tomas’ successful conversion of a penalty in the 42nd minute.

Despite the fact that Andoni Iraola’s team is still in 11th place in the La Liga standings, the distance between them and qualifying for the Europa Conference League has widened to four points as a result of Athletic Bilbao’s victory against Celta Vigo. With three games left, they are just one point behind Osasuna in 10th and two points behind Girona in eighth, keeping their chances of finishing in the top division for the first time in a decade very much alive.

Rayo Vallecano’s recent road performance hasn’t been the best; in their past seven games, they’ve lost five times and let up 15 goals. This current run hasn’t resulted in any victories for them. The Franjirrojos have long been overshadowed by rival Madrid-based teams Real and Atletico, but they managed to win the bragging rights in their most recent match against the former, winning 3-2 at home six months prior with goals from Santi Comesana, Alvaro Garcia, and Oscar Trejo.

Form Guide

Real Madrid: W L W L W

Rayo Vallecano: L W L W L

Mariano Diaz is still sidelined due to his ongoing thigh injury. But after recovering from an ankle problem, Eden Hazard is eligible for selection. Dani Carvajal and David Alaba are two defenders who may be called up in place of Lucas Vazquez and Ferland Mendy. Ancelotti may also call up other first-team stars who were benched from the starting lineup last weekend.

In the absence of Vinicus, Rodyrgo is anticipated to play on the left wing with Karim Benzema, one of Marco Asensio or Federico Valverde, and the other of Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni in attack. Luka Modric and Toni Kroos will be vying for the starting spot in center-midfield alongside these players. Mario Suarez will serve the final game of his two-match suspension for Rayo Vallecano, but Oscar Valentin is free to play after serving a one-match suspension, and he is set to start in Pathe Ciss’ place in the centre of the field.

Last weekend, Esteban Saveljich returned from a long-term injury to make the matchday squad and watch on as an unused substitute. This weekend, the center-back hopes to make his first start or substitute appearance since October. Behind centre striker Raul de Tomas, who will be trying to preserve his spot in the starting XI ahead of Sergio Camello and Radamel Falcao, Oscar Trejo is expected to continue in the number 10 position.

Predicted Playing Xl

Real Madrid : Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Alaba; Kroos, Tchouameni, Modric; Asensio, Benzema, Rodrygo

Rayo Vallecano : Dimitrievski; Balliu, Lejeune, Catena, F. Garcia; Comesana, Valentin; Palazon, Trejo, A. Garcia; De Tomas

Also read: Valencia fined €45,000 and partial closure of Mestalla after Vinicius Jr. racism incident

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