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

After a very good first season with the Madrid-based team, coach Paco Jémez is struggling with his defensive system.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Possession football. It's good when you have the quality to score and to keep the ball effectively. But it can kill you if you don't have those two things. And that is what's happening to Paco Jémez's Rayo Vallecano, a team that should be getting better results and conceding fewer goals.

It is brave to try to copy Barcelona's style when you're Rayo Vallecano. But that might be too ambitious for a team that should be fighting to avoid relegation. Other teams like Levante or Osasuna try not to drop points. They have enough with a draw. Rayo don't, and that's why they usually lose. Yes, Jémez's team won the possession against Barcelona. But they match -what ultimately matters-, well, they lost it 0-4.

They have a high quality midfield with Trashorras, Jonathan Viera -on loan from Valencia- and Iago Falqué -on loan from Tottenham-. But their defensive line is not strong enough. Tito, Gálvez, Arbilla and Nacho are struggling a lot, although Gálvez has proved he can score from free-kicks. To concede 27 goals in just 11 games is quite unacceptable, especially if your strikers can only score 8.

Vallecas is always a tough venue to play in. The pitch is always quite small and narrow, but again, Rayo Vallecano are not taking advantage of it like Osasuna do. It might even be better for Real Madrid if Rayo Vallecano still try to keep the ball. Right winger Lass Bangoura is a fine prospect who could harm Real's left wing, but he's quite immature and his influence in the match should not be huge.

Real Madrid should be comfortable against Rayo's defenders. Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale should be too much for Tito and Nacho, and only a stellar performance by Baena and Trashorras in the midfield would prevent Real's players from creating a lot of good scoring chances.

Furthermore, goalkeeper Rubén Martínez isn't great neither, so Real Madrid will only need good accuracy to score. Still, Rayo will probably have a couple of good opportunities, but they lack the firepower needed to harm Diego López and his defensive men. Alberto Bueno should be Jémez's chosen one to play against Real's center backs, and he's not Didier Drogba.

One way or another, Real Madrid will have to take care of business. This Rayo Vallecano team is not looking good and might even he headed to the Liga Adelante. But Vallecas' faith should not be underestimated.

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