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Rayo Vallecano v Barcelona
Rayo Vallecano host Barcelona this 29th of April. 20:30 GMT is the kick-off time.
A string of three losses means that Rayo may still end up being relegated. But the probability of Rayo finding themselves playing in the Segunda next season is just mathematical. At 15th place, they are comfortably tucked with 9 points separating them and the first relegation-bound team.
To make their upcoming fixture trickier, the prospect of playing their back-four intact is not going to happen. Jose Casado and Mikel Labaka are currently facing a suspension after being sent off in their last outing. Add to this the fact that José Ramón Sandoval’s team has been conceding over 2.5 goals in 8 of their last 10 outings and they certainly have a problem,
It’s rare to see Barcelona end up winless in three games; in all competitions that is. An El Classico loss including two “gone games” against Chelsea that saw them stop short of another Champions League finale is downright heartbreaking. A trip back to the capital this time around can never be timed perfectly – Rayo after all is on a losing streak and Barcelona will need a good game to put their woes behind.
With the team trailing for the league trophy, and now out of Europe, Pep Guardiola still has the Copa del Rey to look forward to. The manager then has the choice of doing two things for this fixture: rest his big guns and allow them to recover after such a tumultuous week, or let them play on and sharpen their edges. The former is fit for the likes of Xavi who is still on the road to recovery. But Lionel Messi should be more than glad to receive the nod from his manager – he is only a goal down to Ronaldo for the golden boot.
Rayo Vallecano v Barcelona Betting Preview
No pressure for Barcelona going into this game – the league is almost certainly over and it looks like they are going to finish at 2nd no matter what happens. This could lead to an open, entertaining game with the visitors unlikely to be very cautious on the pitch. But they are Barcelona and possession is the name of their game; the only thing in need for settling here is the final score.
Verdict: Barcelona will take all three points, 3-1.
Tip: Messi to score two goals or more at 15/8 looks good. Barcelona to win 3-1 is at 9/1. There’s not much spectacle for this game in terms of good deals apart from these two, so unless you’re fancying an upset, there aren’t a lot of rewards in the end.
All odds are from Bet365.com (£200 FREE BET!).