Real Madrid will be at home on Saturday when they take on Rayo Vallecano for the first time since the 2015-16 season. Real have never lost or drawn to Vallecano in the Primera División of LaLiga.
Real have fought their way back to the top 4 of the standings, now just five points behind league leaders Barcelona. Vallecano have not been so fortunate, they are currently second to last (19th) in the league, just three points better than Huesca after their promotion to the Primera División this season.
The club will be looking for a bounce-back after an embarrassing loss to CSKA Moscow at the Bernabéu on Wednesday. Real will also be looking to continue their comeback campaign in LaLiga, where they have now been put right back into contention. To date, Real only have 1 loss in LaLiga under Santiago Solari, they will certainly be looking to continue that as well on Saturday. This will be a somewhat smaller-scale version of the Madrid Derby, as Vallecano is a Madrid-based club.
Real Madrid are still without Nacho who is still out injured with a ligament injury likely until January. Mariano and Reguilón are back in training, but there’s no real indication that they are ready to play again yet. It also doesn’t seem like Casemiro is ready to make his return yet as well. Bale picked up a brief injury against CSKA, clearly in some discomfort, and he may miss Saturday’s match.
Vallecano will be without midfielder Gorka Elustondo, who is likely out the rest of the season. They will likely also be without Kakuta and Lass Bangoura due to injuries. RDT of course is ineligible to play against the club that controls his rights while on loan.
Real Madrid have no suspensions, but Vallecano does have Jordi Amat who is suspended for this match.
Courtois; Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Llorente, Kroos; Vazquez, Asensio, Benzema
If Casemiro is still out, Llorente will continue to fill the role. It’s a hard decision now though, because Marcos Llorente has been stellar as his replacement so far. Kroos subbed on against CSKA, so he appears to be back from injury.
Should Bale’s knock prevent him from starting on Saturday, Vazquez and Asensio may pair up alongside Benzema. Otherwise, a healthy Bale would likely get the start alongside Vazquez.
Dimitrievski; Advincula, Galvez, Velazquez, Moreno; Trejo, Comesana, Imbula; Pozo, Embarba, Garcia
Real Madrid-Rayo Vallecano 2-0
It shouldn’t be a stretch to say that Real Madrid are the favorites against Vallecano, much like they were against Huesca. Real did not look great against Huesca, but hopefully being at home helps. It’s a little bit thrown for a loop after Real were embarrassed at the Bernabéu by CSKA on Wednesday, though many of the starting squad did not start or even feature.
Real Madrid need to keep winning these matches, no matter what the score margin in their favor looks like. These are the clubs Real should have no trouble beating, barring upsets of course. If anything hurts them most this season, it would be conceding points and/or losses to teams that they should be beating.
A win keeps Real Madrid in the top 4, perhaps even further ahead if Atlético or Sevilla, both two points ahead, should falter. Solari and the team need to regroup from that CSKA loss and get back to winning this weekend in LaLiga, their title contention depends on it.