Rayo Vallecano have the rare opportunity of securing a Europa League spot, but the road ahead of them is long and twisted. A steep challenge lies in front of them as the visitors are trying to secure a point away at Real Madrid, a team that defeated them nine times in a row.
Match: Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano
Bet: Rayo Vallecano +2.5 goals
Odds: Bet365 1.75
Despite the fact that the two teams are separated by only nine points, the bookmakers are adamant and regard Rayo Vallecano as a huge underdog. The visitors only have two long term absentees, and with both Labaka and Rodri spending most of the season on the bench, they shouldn’t have any problems in replacing them. After scoring the opening goal against Atletico Madrid in the previous round, Leo Baptistao will once again spearhead Rayo’s offensive trying to replicate his performance.
The hosts have a better defensive, but they will direly miss Casillas, as the goalkeeper picked up an injury and will be replaced in the net by Diego Lopez. Modric, Higuain and Arbeloa are all serving a two-game suspension after receiving red cards, which means that Mourinho will have to operate certain changes. Benzema and Ronaldo will pair upfront and the two strikers should pack quite a punch against a team that comes to Santiago Bernabeu to defend the scoreless draw.
Real Madrid has lost any chance of defending its Primera Division title and the only reachable objective is the Champions League. This means that Mourinho will focus on the upcoming game against Manchester United and will not risk the fitness of his players, after scoring a goal. The odds for Rayo Vallecano to defend the +2,5 goals spread stand at 1.75 with Bet365, and are clearly worthwhile.