Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
8 November 2014, 19:00 GMT
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping for his team to continue their good run of form when they host Rayo Vallecano at Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Real Madrid are in stunning form at the moment and Rayo Vallecano are not expected to cause much trouble for Carlo Ancelotti’s men on Saturday. Real Madrid are currently the hot favorites to win both La Liga and UEFA Champions League as the team looks stronger than ever in every department of the game.
Meanwhile, Rayo Vallecano manager Paco Jemez will be hoping for a spirited performance from his inconsistent players when they visit Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday as the club is languishing in the 12th place in La Liga at the moment.
Team News and Tactics
Real Madrid are enjoying a great run of form at the moment as the club sits at the top of La Liga table while they have already qualified for the next stage of UEFA Champions League.
There is good news for Real Madrid on the injury front too. Gareth Bale is fully recovered now and he is available for selection. Meanwhile, youngster Jesse has started training with the first team after the gap of almost six months but he is not fully recovered yet.
Every department of Real Madrid’s squad is full of world class players and all players are in good form. Real Madrid had some defensive concerns in the early part of this season as the club struggled against the set pieces. But it now appears that coach Carlo Ancelotti has resolved this problem as the players have looked comfortable against the set pieces in their recent games.
The midfield trio of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez has formed an excellent understanding between them as Real Madrid are dominating the possession of games on a regular season.
Isco started for Real Madrid during the absence of Gareth Bale but the return of Wales international from his injury poses a selection dilemma ahead of coach Carlo Ancelotti as the young Spaniard has performed extremely well in past few matches.
The attacking duo of Ronaldo and Benzema are also in good touch at the moment and Carlo Ancelotti will be hoping for another productive night from both on Saturday.
Real Madrid fans will be confident of their winning all three points against Rayo Vallecano but coach Carlo Ancelotti said in his press conference that he will not take anything for granted.
“We’re up against a team that has its own style and is a prime example for explaining what Spanish football is like abroad,” said Carlo Ancelotti.
“We have to respect a team who have a philosophy and apply that philosophy against every team. They have a style, and to explain what Spanish football is like abroad Rayo Vallecano are a prime example. They play football against every team and fight for survival. They have a very clear plan to play attacking football and it’s a good plan and a positive one.”
The Real Madrid coach is expected to rotate his squad on Saturday but he refused to drop any hint about the same in his press conference. He said: “I still haven’t decided. Isco and James have been fantastic and it’s possible I’ll give one of the two a rest in order to put in a player with fresh legs. Rotation is normal at this point of the season and we have to do it at least until December.”
Predicted Starting XI (4-3-3):- Casillas; Arbeloa, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Isco, Modric, Kroos; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo.
Rayo Vallecano currently sit at the 12th position in La Liga and coach Paco Jemez would be hoping for a courageous performance from his players as Real Madrid has looked unstoppable at their home ground this season.
Rayo Vallecano defenders are struggling this season, the club has conceded 19 goals in first 10 games so far but they will have to raise their game considerably to have any chance of securing at least a point against Real Madrid.
Rayo Vallecano has played attractive and attacking game this season but their strikers are struggling to capitalize on the opportunities and this is the biggest concern for the coach Paco Jemez at the moment.
Speaking ahead of their game against Real Madrid, Rayo Vallecano coach Paco Jemez asked his players to remain confident against the European champions. He said: “It’s a massive week. To be able to go to the Bernabéu another year is a proud and satisfying thing. Where others see a problem, we see an opportunity to continue growing and to show what sort of a team we are. Every Rayo fan should be happy to go to the Bernabéu year after year. It’s a good sign.”
The Rayo Vallecano boss also stressed that this Real Madrid squad is extremely talented but his players will also be full of a confidence. “Real Madrid are playing very well. They’re not just winning games, but doing so with an ease that hasn’t been seen for some time. But we will go there with confidence and humility, because we will go out to win, although we know how difficult that will be. And if we don’t win, at least let the match serve us to improve as a team and win other games.”
Predicted Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Tono; Tito, Amaya, Ze Castro, Nacho; Baena, Trashorras; Aquino, Bueno, Kakuta; Baptistao
Player To Watch Out For
Karim Benzema is in form of his life at the moment and the French attacker is expected to cause all sort of problems for struggling Rayo Vallecano defence.
Real Madrid 4-0 Rayo Vallecano
Ronaldo and Benzema are scoring freely this season and rampant Real are expected to thrash struggling Rayo Vallecano with ease at Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.
Blast From The Past
Feature Image Courtesy: RealMadrid.com