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

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Real Madrid will try to keep up with Barcelona's pace after Tata Martino's team got a 1-0 win against Espanyol.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Ancelotti and his men will search some stability in defense. They conceded three goals against Sevilla, but luckily enough, Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema had a remarkable night with seven combined goals. They might achieve a similar scoring record against the worst defensive line in the Liga BBVA. As we analyzed in our scouting report, Jémez's team has already conceded 27 goals in 11 matches.

Real Madrid's coach confirmed during yesterday's press conference that Xabi Alonso will start this match. Therefore, Asier Illarramendi will get some rest. Alonso is expected to be escorted by Luka Modric and Sami Khedira, but it's also true that Ancelotti confirmed he also trusts Di María to play in Khedira's spot. A lineup with Alonso, Di María, Modric, Benzema, Bale and Ronaldo might be too offensive-minded, but it could certainly be a possibility if Ancelotti's words are to be believed.

It would be good to give Morata and Jesé some minutes, because both canteranos could probably perform well against such a weak defensive line. They are used to play in those kind of fields, so maybe Ancelotti will give one of them a chance. Jesé scored Real Madrid's only goal in the 2-1 Clásico loss, while Morata always works hard and is a fan favourite.

One way or another, Ancelotti's team desperately need a win. Yes, the offensive line looks much better, but there's still some work to do in defense. With Varane out, Ramos and Pepe will be in charge today. Carvajal is also ready to start, Ancelotti confirmed, because Arbeloa should be the team's right back against Juventus.

It shouldn't be hard to beat Rayo Vallecano, but if the defense is not ready enough, Lass and Jonathan Viera could be dangerous.