Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano: La Liga leaders Barcelona welcome relegation threatened Rayo Vallecano to Camp Nou on Saturday, looking to consolidate their grip on top spot. Barcelona will seek to reinforce their lead at the top of the Primera Division on Saturday by overcoming Rayo Vallecano at Camp Nou.
Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano: Barcelona’s journey to what they hope is another La Liga title continues on Saturday with a home match against relegation-threatened Rayo Vallecano. Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano Live. Barcelona’s journey to what they hope is another La Liga title continues on Saturday with a home match against relegation-threatened Rayo Vallecano.
La Liga leaders Barcelona return to action on Saturday, when they welcome struggling Rayo Vallecano to the Camp Nou.
Ernesto Valverde’s side come into the game after effectively ending Real Madrid’s title hopes with a 1-0 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu last time out and will be big favourites to pick up another three points.
Rayo Vallecano are just a point and a place off the bottom of the table and are in desperate need of points in their battle to stay in Spain’s top flight.
The visitors came close to beating Barcelona at Vallecas in November. The hosts needed late goals from Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele to secure a 3-2 victory.
Barcelona’s seven-point lead at the top of the table puts them in good shape to retain their La Liga crown, but Gerard Pique has warned his side they can’t afford to lose focus against Rayo Vallecano.
“We’ve made a statement [in beating Madrid], but it’s not definitive by any means,” he said, per Sam Marsden at ESPN FC. “It allows us a certain amount of calm for the final games of the season, but it won’t mean anything if we mess up against Rayo Vallecano.”
Barcelona should be well rested after a week without a competitive fixture. The club did lose 1-0 to Girona in the Catalan Super Cup on Wednesday, but Valverde fielded a much-changed team filled with squad players and Barcelona B youngsters:
The Blaugrana boss may also have one eye on Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League last-16 second leg against Lyon. However, his general reluctance to rotate suggests he may not make too many changes to his starting XI for Saturday’s match.
Rayo head into the match on the back of five straight league defeats. Another loss on Saturday could spell the end for manager Michel, according to Marca:
The visitors will hope Raul de Tomas can cause Barcelona problems. The Real Madrid loanee is the team’s top scorer with 10 goals, and he has six in his past 10 outings:
Barcelona will be expected to win this one comfortably and maintain their charge towards another league title. However, they will need to avoid any complacency creeping in, as Rayo have already proved they can cause the champions problems this season.