Rayo Vallecano vs Granada Predictions

Sevilla vs Cadiz predictions for this La Liga clash. Rayo Vallecano aims for La Liga safety in home clash against relegated Granada at Estadio de Vallecas. Read on for our free match preview and betting tips.

Rayo Vallecano
Granada

La Liga | Gameweek 36 – May 15, 2024 at 6.30pm UK at Estadio de Vallecas

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Rayo Vallecano vs Granada Predictions

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Rayo Vallecano Eye Survival Against Relegated Granada: A Tactical Showdown

Key Stats

– Granada have lost 14 of their 17 away matches this season.

– Rayo Vallecano have kept 13 clean sheets in La Liga.

– Granada have conceded 68 goals in 35 matches, the second-worst defensive record in the league.

Rayo Vallecano are set to host relegated Granada at the Estadio de Vallecas in a pivotal La Liga clash. With 35 points from as many matches, Rayo sit in 16th place, aiming to secure their top-flight status. Granada, languishing in 19th place with just 21 points, have already been relegated. This match offers Rayo a golden opportunity to confirm their survival in La Liga.

Match Preview

Rayo Vallecano’s Recent Form

Rayo Vallecano have had a challenging season without their former manager, Andoni Iraola. Despite a tough run, they managed to secure a goalless draw against Valencia, which placed them five points clear of the relegation zone. Rayo have struggled offensively, failing to score in five of their last six matches, including each of their last three. However, their head-to-head record against Granada is promising, having scored at least two goals in their last four encounters and maintaining a 10-game unbeaten run against them.

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Granada’s Struggles

Granada’s return to the second tier was confirmed after Mallorca’s victory over Las Palmas. Their season has been marred by defensive frailties, conceding 68 goals in 35 matches—the second-worst record in La Liga. Their away form has been particularly dismal, with no wins, only three draws, and 14 defeats in 17 road trips. Despite their relegation, Granada will aim to claim their first away win of the season and their first competitive victory against Rayo since December 2013.

Team News and Expected Line-ups

Rayo Vallecano

Possible Starting Line-up: Dimitrievski; Balliu, Mumin, Lejeune, Espino; Valentin, Lopez; Palazon, Trejo, Garcia; Camello

Rayo boss Inigo Perez has most of his squad available, though 20-year-old midfielder Diego Mendez remains sidelined. Isi Palazon, who came off the bench in the draw against Valencia, might be recalled to the starting lineup. Unai Lopez could also feature in midfield, providing fresh legs.

Granada

Possible Starting Line-up: Batalla; Mendez, Rubio, Miquel, Neva; Pellistri, Gumbau, Hongla, Melendo; Boye, Uzuni

Granada will be without winger Kamil Jozwiak due to a muscle injury, and midfielder Antonio Puertas remains a doubt. After serving a suspension, Miguel Rubio is set to replace Kamil Piatkowski in central defence.

Tactical Analysis

Rayo Vallecano

Rayo have struggled offensively, averaging only 0.8 goals per game this season. Their reliance on structured defence is evident, with 13 clean sheets so far. Players like Florian Lejeune and Ivan Balliu have been pivotal in their defensive efforts. Offensively, they need a boost from midfielders like Isi Palazon and Alvaro Garcia to break down Granada’s defence.

Granada

Granada’s defensive issues have been glaring, conceding 1.9 goals per game. They also struggle offensively, scoring just 1 goal per game on average. Their midfield, led by Gerard Gumbau and Gonzalo Villar, needs to control the tempo and provide opportunities for forwards Myrto Uzuni and Lucas Boye. Their strategy will likely focus on counter-attacks and exploiting any defensive lapses from Rayo.

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Key Player Duels

Isi Palazon vs. Carlos Neva: Palazon’s creativity and goal-scoring ability will test Neva’s defensive capabilities. Palazon needs to exploit Neva’s positioning to create scoring opportunities.

Myrto Uzuni vs. Florian Lejeune: Uzuni, Granada’s top scorer, will be a constant threat. Lejeune must use his defensive skills to neutralise Uzuni’s impact.

Unai Lopez vs. Gerard Gumbau: This midfield battle will be crucial in dictating the game’s tempo. Lopez’s passing and vision against Gumbau’s control and distribution will be key.

Gameplay Expectations

Given Rayo’s need for points to secure safety and Granada’s relegation, the match is likely to be competitive. Rayo will aim to dominate possession and press high, while Granada may sit back and hit on the counter. Rayo’s ability to break down a potentially deep-lying Granada defence will be crucial. Granada, on the other hand, will look to exploit any gaps left by Rayo’s attacking efforts.

Areas of Improvement

Rayo Vallecano: They need to improve their offensive output. Despite solid defence, their lack of goals has been problematic. A more dynamic approach in the final third, involving quicker transitions and more creative play from midfield, could enhance their chances of scoring.

Granada: Defensive solidity is their biggest concern. With a leaky defence, they need to focus on tighter marking and better organisation during set-pieces. Improving their ball retention and reducing errors that lead to goals will also be essential.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Rayo Vallecano:

  • Strengths: Solid defence, good head-to-head record against Granada, ability to hold possession.
  • Weaknesses: Poor goal-scoring form, reliance on a few key players for creativity, inconsistency in attack.

Granada:

  • Strengths: Occasional flashes of offensive capability, potential in counter-attacks.
  • Weaknesses: Defensive frailties, poor away form, low morale after relegation.

Managerial Influence

Inigo Perez: Perez has managed to stabilise Rayo defensively but needs to address their offensive struggles. His tactical approach needs to be more balanced to ensure his team converts possession into goals.

Jose Ramon Sandoval: Sandoval has faced criticism for Granada’s defensive woes and lack of away success. His challenge will be to motivate his players and tighten their defensive structure. His inability to rectify defensive lapses has been a major issue this season.

Expected Goals (xG) Analysis

Rayo Vallecano’s xG reflects their struggles in front of goal, with an average of 0.8 goals per game. Their expected goals against (xGA) highlight their defensive strength, averaging 1.2 goals conceded per game. Granada’s xG of 1 per game is better but still underwhelming, while their xGA of 1.9 underscores their defensive problems.

Predictions

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Best Bet: Rayo Vallecano to Win

Rayo have a strong home record against lower-ranked teams and Granada’s poor away form boosts Rayo’s chances of securing a much-needed win. Rayo’s defensive solidity, combined with Granada’s scoring issues, makes this a sound bet. Rationale: Rayo’s need to secure safety and Granada’s relegation status indicate a motivated performance from the home side, aiming to exploit Granada’s weaknesses.

Correct Score Prediction: Rayo Vallecano 2-0 Granada

Considering Rayo’s defensive strength and Granada’s poor offensive record, a 2-0 victory for Rayo is plausible. Rayo will likely score from set-pieces or quick transitions while keeping a clean sheet against a struggling Granada side. Rationale: Rayo’s structured defence and Granada’s inability to score away from home support this prediction. Rayo’s home advantage adds to their potential to score multiple goals.

Goalscorer Prediction: Isi Palazon to Score Anytime

Isi Palazon, with his creativity and goal-scoring ability, is a key player for Rayo. Given Granada’s defensive issues, Palazon will have opportunities to score. Rationale: Palazon’s recent form and his role as a crucial offensive player for Rayo make him a strong candidate to find the net, especially against a vulnerable Granada defence.

Corner Prediction: Rayo Vallecano to Win More Corners, Total Corners 8+

Rayo’s attacking approach, combined with Granada’s defensive strategy, will likely result in Rayo winning more corners. The total number of corners should exceed eight, given the expected gameplay. Rationale: Rayo’s tendency to press and attack, coupled with Granada’s defensive lapses, will lead to numerous corner opportunities, with Rayo dominating this aspect of the game.

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Gerard Gabasa
Gerard Gabasa is our go-to football expert for all things Spanish. His passion for the game is evident in every analysis he offers. Having played professionally with Málaga's youth team, Gerard blends firsthand experience with deep insights. While he didn't ascend to the senior ranks, this stint enriched his understanding of the game's nuances. Over the years, Gerard has crafted in-depth match analyses and player evaluations that showcase his profound knowledge. With Gerard, expect a seasoned perspective on Spanish football every time.