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Rayo Vallecano Vs. Real Madrid, La Liga 2012: Open Match Thread

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Real Madrid are set to take on up and coming Rayo Vallecano (16:00 CET, 10:00 AM EST) in Vallecas, and will look to extend their lead to 13 points over second-place Barcelona Sunday afternoon. It looks like José Mourinho will bet on a finesse transition game, as he has chosen to start Kaká over canterano José María Callejón; Madrid will look to try to keep Rayo from scoring early in the match, a fate that has hurt, but not killed Madrid in recent la Liga clashes.

Barcelona play a very complicated fixture later in the evening against surging Atlético Madrid in the Estadio Vicente Calderón in Madrid, and Real Madrid will hope to put extra pressure on the Culés by winning today in Vallecas. The last time los blancos played in Vallecas, in 2002-2003, they won 2-3 with goals from Ronaldo (Brazilian one), Roberto Carlos and Figo. That was the year before David Beckham arrived in Madrid, and was Vicente del Bosque's last at the helm of Madrid; they won the Liga that season, but were eliminated in the knockout rounds of the Champions League by Juventus.

Consider this your thread to comment on the game with other madridistas. For more up-to-the-minute analysis, follow us @ManagingMadrid, "like" us on Facebook, and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes. Hala Madrid!

Rayo Vallecano XI: Joel; Tito, Pulido, Arribas, Casado; Javi Fuego, Movilla, Michu, Piti, Armenteros; and Diego Costa.

Real Madrid XI: Iker Casillas; Alvaro Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira; Mesut Ozil, Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo; Gonzalo Higuain