El Centrocampista

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE? – Rayo travel to the Bernabeu looking for an upset.


Lee Roden, of this very website, posted an article labelled “Destruction” on the 19th of this month and anyone who knows anything about Spanish football knows which of the big two teams the article was referring to.

Lee touched briefly on Barcelona’s utter demolition of Osasuna, but just as big a result midweek was the damp squib of a performance that Real put in at Levante.

Now it is early doors in La Liga at the moment, but if Real want to reclaim the coveted league title then, at the risk of sounding rather cliché, they really should be beating teams like Levante (no disrespect to the latter).

So where do Real turn from here? Having implemented a bombardment against Racing Santander, but failing to score, and then the  aforementioned unexpected loss, Real have dropped five points in their last two matches.

The fans, the players and the manager will all be wanting to put that right and have the chance to do so in a Madrid derby in their own back yard.

They welcome La Liga newbies Rayo Vallecano to the  Bernabeu tonight,  in what one would think to be a routine win given the recent history of the two sides.

Rayo have lost the last seven matches on the trot to their rather more illustrious neighbours, and have not tasted the sweet nectar of victory over Real since 1997.

However, for all of the sceptics’ predictions, Rayo have been a far tougher nut to crack than many would have thought them to be – myself included.

They are renowned for never rolling over, but they have shown extraordinary resilience over the past six months, specifically given their
ownership crisis.

Although they have not had the same success of fellow promoted Betis, who of course currently perch atop the Primera Division with a 100% record, Rayo have again taken a stand and decided that they shall not let teams walk over them.

Their defence has been their best attribute so far and although Rayo were finally beaten at the fourth time of asking it was to Levante who, to come full circle and to reiterate the point because it sounds sweet to the ears of Barca fans, beat Real in their previous match.

So where do we stand when we look at tomorrow’s clash?

Real’s recent firing of blanks against Rayo’s relatively decent defensive outfit.

Could we be looking at further upset for the galacticos – An almost unprecedented third game without a win?

Well no. I am happy to put my neck on the line and say that I think, along with ALL of the bookies, that a home win is on the cards.

Rayo are ok, but Real are now a dozing giant who is not only thoroughly hacked off from tip to toe, but is being gently prodded by their cross-city opponents.

Some say that it could be chaos, and that we may be looking at a Barca-esque annihilation.

However, should they keep their composure then I believe that Rayo could bag a goal or two and although the head screams a Real victory, the heart yearns for Rayo to defy the odds. Real should not have it all their own way; Rayo are suckers for making a fight of almost every game they approach as underdogs.

Jose Ramon Sandoval also somewhat sarcastically predicts a tough match for the visitors – after being asked to reflect on  his side’s defeat to Levante, the Rayo boss stated that the only action was simply to “bounce back” and have a “go at beating Real… although” he concedes, “it will not exactly be easyto do so”.

Amen Jose. Best of luck!

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