Real Madrid Vs Rayo Vallecano, Liga BBVA 2013-2014: Match Preview

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Two defeats in four days have drastically changed Real Madrid's course in La Liga. A good game and a victory against Rayo are mandatory to keep the few options we have to win the title and to set the mood before the Champions League quarterfinals.

Just don't look back, please. We all know what we've been up to in the last few days, so it's time to get up and fight. I still refuse to stop believing in this team. Barcelona and Atlético are having tough games at Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao's homes today so we might have a chance to cut down their advantage tonight.

To do that, we'll need to beat Rayo Vallecano. Our opponent, coached by Paco Jémez, already caused us some trouble in our previous game back in November, and their recent transition to a more solid system has helped them to obtain thirteen points in the last five games to abandon the relegation positions.

Rayo should, by no means, suppose a serious threat in Bernabéu, but our men will need to keep focused, since their players will be extra-motivated to obtain a good result out of the biggest stadium in the city. Although their defensive line is, possibly, their biggest weakness, the recent incorporation of Zé Castro and the appearance of Saúl as a midfielder have helped to reduce the amount of interventions of Rubén, their more than convincing goalkeeper.

The attacking midfielders are, definitely, the players to watch in Rayo's 4-2-3-1 formation. Rochina, Falqué and our former canterano Alberto Bueno will likely try to bring the danger to Diego's goal, while Larrivey, their center forward, will do his best to keep Pepe and Ramos busy with a pretty physical fight.

As Ancelotti confirmed in yesterday's press conference, no rotations are foreseen, other than Luka Modric, who might not play if he is not fully recovered from his temperature. Our best men will try to recover the balance and the good football they displayed in January and February to fight for the league and get ready to beat Borussia Dortmund next Wedneday. The support of our fans will be essential to help them increase their morale.

¡Hasta el final, vamos Real!

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