Rayo Vallecano – Villarreal Predictions
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Rayo Vallecano 1-5 Villarreal
Date: 12.05.2022 | Match at: 19:00 | League: SPAIN: LALIGA – ROUND 36 | Tip: Over 1.5 Goals | Odds: 1.30 | Bookie: Unibet.
Rayo Vallecano – Villarreal Match Preview
- Not only has Rayo Vallecano’s longest undefeated La Liga (LL) run (W2, D2) since September emphatically secured their safety, but Andoni Iraola’s men also remain within reach of their highest finish to a top-flight campaign since 2012/13 (eighth). Iraola has challenged his players to “keep competing” though and maintain their intensity after a drab 0-0 draw away to relegation contenders Getafe.
- The challenge of hosting a club like Villarreal is one that Vallecano have often been able to match but not conquer, with their impending survival built on a foundation of bullying the competition’s weaker teams at the Estadio de Vallecas. They have an unremarkable LL home record against clubs in the top half of the standings going into the round (W1, D4, L4) and have failed to score more than a single goal in any of those nine fixtures.
- Villarreal could not win what manager Unai Emery anticipated to be a “decisive” home clash with Sevilla (1-1), and now his worst fears have been realised. His club are going to have to depend on other results, in addition to defeating Barcelona and Real Sociedad in the final fortnight, or miss European football for just the second time since 2014/15.
- Villarreal’s miserable campaign on the road will be identified in their 2021/22 post-mortem as a key reason for what could be their second-worst LL finish of the last decade. The ‘Yellow Submarine’ has now lost four of their last five LL starts as travelling favourites, all against clubs ranked below them in the standings. They scored only once before half-time across that run which came in April’s win over Getafe.
- Players to watch: Sergi Guardiola should return after being rested at Getafe, and he stands as Vallecano’s only player to score in more than one of their last ten LL home games. Meanwhile, Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze is one of just two players (alongside the injured Gerard Moreno) to score in two LL away trips since September.
- Hot stat: Vallecano’s last nine LL matches have all been drawn or won by a one-goal margin.