Preview: Athletic Bilbao v Rayo Vallecano
Sports Mole provides an overview of Tuesday’s La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Rayo Vallecano, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
After a dominant 3-0 win last time around, Rayo Vallecano will look to continue their strong La Liga start to life on Tuesday, when they travel to face Athletics Bilbao.
The newly promoted formation currently sit 10th in the La Liga table with seven points in their first five games, while Tuesday’s hosts are better off at two points in fifth place.
After a somewhat disappointing 10th place last season, Athletic Bilbao have had a relatively strong start to the season.
After consecutive draws to start, MarcelinoThe men scored their first three-point goal with a 1-0 away win over Celta Vigo.
The Basque formation went on to win back-to-back victories, such as Dani Viviane and Inaki williams sent them back to a 2-0 home win over Mallorca, before picking up a commendable point against Atletico Madrid last time around.
Athletic Club held the defending champions to a goalless draw to extend their unbeaten run, and Marcelino’s side will now look to get back on their way to victory and continue their strong start in style.
It will not be an easy task, however, as they meet a team of Rayo Vallecano full of optimism after an impressive start.
Following their promotion from the second level in the last trimester, Andoni IraolaThe Sevilla side have had a rough start to the campaign, losing back-to-back games to Sevilla and Real Sociedad.
They did however manage to bounce back, beating Granada 4-0 thanks to goals from Allvaro García, Oscar Trejo, Randy Ntéka and Santiago comesana, before winning a point against Levante.
Los Vallecanos now enter the game with a dominant 3-0 win over Getafe, as Oscar Trejo opened the scoring early before Pathé Ciss and Radamel Falcao scored late goals.
Having achieved the ultimate goal of cementing themselves as top-flight outfit, Iraola’s men will look to continue building momentum to avoid being drawn into a battle at the bottom of the board.
Athletic Bilbao La Liga form:
Rayo Vallecano La Liga form:
Athletic Bilbao has several issues to deal with, as Yuri Berchiche and Peru Nolaskoain will both be missed, while Oscar De Marcos, Inigo Cordoba and Yeray Alvarez are all doubts.
After an impressive clean sheet against Atletico Madrid, Marcelino is unlikely to change his back line, with Inigo Martinez and Dani Vivian continuing to partner at the heart of the defense.
During this time, the attack core will remain the same, with Iker Muniain and Alex Berenguer operating on the flanks and Inaki Williams leading the line at the sides Raul garcia.
Rayo Vallecano’s only injury issue is expected to be Martin Merquelanz, and Iraola will only make limited changes after their impressive win last time around.
One change could be the introduction of signing star Radamel Falcao, who has scored on the bench and has yet to start for his new side.
Possible starting line-up from Athletic Bilbao:
Simon; Lekue, Vivian, Martinez, Balenziaga; Berenguer, Vencedor, Garcia, Muniain; Williams, Garcia
Starting eleven possible from Rayo Vallecano:
Dimitrievski; Balliu, Saveljich, Catena, D Garcia; Comesana, Ciss; Palazon, Trejo, Bebe; Falcao
We say: Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Rayo Vallecano
As both teams arrive with confidence, the hosts have the stronger team and should have enough to cross the line.
Marceliino’s men are quality all over the field and will look to continue their unbeaten run with a home win.
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