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La Liga preview and odds: Barcelona vs. Rayo Vallecano

Published on: 16/10/2015

La Liga preview and odds: Barcelona vs. Rayo Vallecano

October 17, 2015 20:30pm - Camp Nou

La Liga

Reigning La Liga champions Barcelona could be without two of their three star players when they take on Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou on Saturday evening.

Barca’s lethal weapon blunted

With Lionel Messi out and Luis Suarez on the doubtful list, Champions League holders Barcelona will need to demonstrate the depth of their squad when they welcome Madrid-based team Rayo Vallecano to Catalonia this weekend.

After two defeats in the last three games it has been a below par start to the new campaign for boss Luis Enrique. The loss of Messi was an obvious blow but with another prong of their attacking trident potentially missing this weekend, things could get even tougher.

Add to that the absence of Andres Iniesta in the midfield and the Catalan team suddenly looks far less intimidating. Their opponents from the Spanish capital are not shy when it comes to taking the game to the big teams, and could cause a few problems for the giants of world football.

However, Rayo`s gung-ho approach has not always been effective against Barca, and in recent years they have been on the wrong end of some heavy defeats, having conceded six goals on each of their last two visits to the Camp Nou. In last season`s 6-1 drubbing, Lionel Messi helped himself to a hat-trick.

No change of approach for Rayo

Paco Jemez is not a coach who likes to park the bus, preferring instead to play an open and expansive style of football, and that can often back-fire against the bigger teams. Their record against the Blaugrana is poor and you would have go back 15 years in the records books to find the last Rayo victory on Barca soil.

However, with two of Barca`s deadly triumvirate missing and the loss of Iniesta`s creativity, this could be the perfect chance for Los Vallecanos to end their nine-game losing streak against the Cules.

Team news

The home side will be without the injured Messi, Rafinha and Iniesta while Uruguayan striker Suarez joins Thomas Vermaelen on the doubtful list.

The visitors will be without Pablo Hernandez while Amaya is suspended for this clash.

Recent form (League)

Barcelona: LWLWW

Rayo Vallecano: LLWWL

Betting odds and tips

Both teams have won two and lost two of their last four games although Barca have a perfect record at home this season having won three out of three. Rayo have won just one game on the road this season and that came against newly-promoted Las Palmas.

The Catalan team are certainly more fragile than usual but they should still have enough talent to overcome their low-budget opponents. If Suarez does not play, then Neymar will be expected to provide the goal threat and he can be backed to score first at 10/3 with Betfred.

With Barca still looking a bit shaky at the back, Rayo may just nick a goal in this game and you can back a home win with both teams to score at 13/10 with Boylesport.

Published on: 16/10/2015

Any odds displayed within this preview were correct at the time of publishing (16/10/2015 10:02:18) but are subject to change.