The next FIFA break is upon us, which means that there will be some risk of Real Madrid players getting injured. That's why Real Madrid cannot afford to drop any points against a Rayo Vallecano side who have improved after kicking-off the 2014-2015 in really bad form.
Paco Jémez is always that kind of brave coach who refuses to play defensively such games, and that's the main reason why his record against the elite teams in La Liga isn't impressive. Rayo will probably try to have the possession at the Bernabéu, something that is not very likely against Ancelotti's skilled midfield. But still, Real Madrid should enjoy some counterattacking chances down the road, especially if los blancos manage to get the lead soon. Considering that Gareth Bale will make his return to Real's starting lineup, Ancelotti's team will have more firepower and quickness in the open field.
Asier Illarramendi and Sami Khedira will sit this match out after missing Real's 1-0 win against Liverpool as well. Fàbio Coentrao and Jesé made their return to Real Madrid's training sessions today but they will not be able to feature in a match until the end of this month, Ancelotti confirmed.
Frankly, this match should not be a problem for Real Madrid, as Rayo's weak spot lies on their defensive system. Add that to Real Madrid's offensive threats and you can have a blowout win in the making. Ancelotti will only need to make sure his players stay "professional and serious" -- two words he likes to use about this 2014-2015 Real Madrid squad -- in order to get the three points and stay atop of the Liga BBVA table at least until this FIFA break ends.
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Prediction: Real Madrid 4-1 Rayo Vallecano
Projected Lineup: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Kroos, Modric, James, Bale, Ronaldo, Benzema.