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Preview: Rayo Vallecano vs. Cadiz - prediction, team news, lineups

sportsmole.co.uk, 29 February 2024, 18:11
Two teams in poor form will lock horns for a key match on Saturday afternoon, with Rayo Vallecano welcoming Cadiz to Campo de Futbol de Vallecas in Spain's top flight.

Cadiz are currently 18th in the La Liga table, three points from safety, while Rayo occupy 14th position, seven points ahead of their opponents ahead of this weekend's intriguing affair.

Match preview

Rayo have finished 12th and 11th in their two La Liga seasons since being promoted back to this level in 2021, and they are bidding to make it three straight campaigns in Spain's top flight for the first time since 2016.

Los Franjirrojos have struggled for results over the last couple of months, though, with their last victory in La Liga proving to be a 2-0 success over Getafe at the start of January.

Rayo have drawn two and lost five of their last seven league matches, with the disappointing run of form seeing them drop into 14th position, seven points clear of the relegation zone.

The capital outfit have enough credit in the bank to keep them clear of the bottom three for the moment, but a defeat on Saturday would certainly leave them looking over their shoulder at a key stage of the campaign.

Inigo Perez's side managed to hold Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw in their last match on home soil, but they will enter this game off the back of a 3-0 defeat to second-placed Girona on Monday night.

Cadiz, meanwhile, looked to be heading for a home defeat to fellow strugglers Celta lat weekend, with Rafael Benitez's side taking a 2-0 lead in the 58th minute of the contest at Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla.

Mauricio Pellegrino's side managed to answer back, though, halving the deficit in the 66th minute through Juanmi before Darwin Machis levelled in the 10th minute of added time at the end of the 90.

Cadiz are therefore still in touch with Celta, sitting three points behind the team in 17th, and they are still in a position to escape the relegation zone despite only winning two of their 26 league matches this season.

El Submarino Amarillo are in their fourth straight campaign at this level, which is their best run since the early 1990s, and they have finished 12th, 17th and 14th in their last three La Liga seasons.

Cadiz have won two of their last four La Liga matches against Rayo, but they suffered a 5-1 defeat to the capital outfit when the two teams locked horns for the corresponding game during the 2022-23 campaign.

Rayo Vallecano La Liga form:

D

L

L

L

D

L

Cadiz La Liga form:

L

D

D

L

L

D

Team News

Rayo will be without the services of Isi Palazon and Diego Mendez on Saturday, with the pair both unavailable for selection due to muscular problems.

Meanwhile, Pep Chavarria is also absent through suspension, with the defender picking up a red card shortly after entering the field against Girona last time out.

Head coach Perez is expected to make changes from the side that started against Girona, with Pathe Ciss and Oscar Trejo potentially coming into the XI, but Raul de Tomas should keep his spot at centre-forward.

As for Cadiz, Fali, Fede San Emeterio, Luis Hernandez and Roger Marti remain absent, while Jeremias Ledesma is a doubt due to a muscular problem.

Machis is likely to be rewarded with a start following his equaliser off the bench against Celta, while Sergi Guardiola could also be introduced in the final third of the field.

Lucas Pires is available again, having served a suspension, and the Brazilian is also expected to come into the back four, but Jorge Mere should retain his spot in the middle of the defence.

Rayo Vallecano possible starting lineup:

Dimitrievski; Balliu, Hernandez, Lejeune, Espino; Ciss, Crespo; De Frutos, Trejo, A Garcia; De Tomas

Cadiz possible starting lineup:

Ledesma; Carcelen, Mere, Chust, Pires; Sobrino, Alcaraz, Escalante, Machis; Guardiola, Juanmi

We say: Rayo Vallecano 0-0 Cadiz

Rayo's home form has been poor this season, picking up just nine points from 12 matches, but Cadiz boast the third-worst away record and are yet to win on their travels this term. Both teams need a win at a crucial stage of the campaign, but we have had to back an uneventful goalless draw between the two strugglers.

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