Real Madrid is back in action after their El Clasico success last weekend with a less daunting task in a home game against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday night at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, hoping to take the La Liga lead.
Vallecano have enjoyed a good start to the season by their usual standards but remain underdogs coming into this one against Real Madrid.
Real Madrid will bid to make it three straight wins in all competitions to brighten their La Liga chances.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side are second on the table with 28 points, three points behind Girona and will go into the game full of confidence after defeating Barcelona last weekend.
Vallecano are sitting eighth with 17 points, 11 behind Los Merengues. The visitors will try to extend their unbeaten streak to nine games.
It’ll be a special game for Fran García as he faces his former club, and the left-back will remember better than anyone that Rayo Vallecano defeated Carlo Ancelotti’s side 3-2 last November.
In his pre-match press conference, Ancelotti spoke to the press at Real Madrid City the Italian tactician said playing at Bernabéu gives the team an advantage while noting that Vallecano are a formidable side.
“We’ve been strong at the Bernabéu so far. The atmosphere always helps us, it’s our home and we want to put in a good performance, I hope we can stay on top of the table.” Ancelotti said.
“We will rotate over the next three games, but the priority is tomorrow. We’ll be playing against a side in very good form, they’re well-organised and solid. We have three games at home and now is the time to make a statement in LaLiga and the Champions League.”
Ancelotti will have a decision to make, that being his replacement for Aurelien Tchouameni, who is set to miss the next two months after fracturing his metatarsal against Barcelona last weekend.
Los Franjirrojos are expected to make one change from the side that drew 2-2 with Real Sociedad at Vallecas, with Oscar Valentin coming back in after suspension to partner Pathe Ciss in the centre of midfield.
Real Madrid are big favourites to pick up another victory here, but Rayo Vallecano should not be counted out. They have been excellent in recent weeks, and are unbeaten in their last eight matches.