La Liga is set for an exciting match as top-four hopefuls Villarreal host Rayo Vallecano on Monday night. Currently sitting fifth in the league table, level on points with fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, Villarreal will be aiming to continue their impressive run of form. Rayo Vallecano, on the other hand, sits in ninth position with 26 points and a chance to move up the table.
Villarreal’s unbeaten run in La Liga started in November, winning four out of their last five matches and collecting 13 points. The Yellow Submarine were held to a 1-1 draw by Celta Vigo on January 13 but managed to bounce back with a 1-0 win over Girona, thanks to a late penalty from Dani Parejo. The team’s main focus for the rest of the season is the league, and they have a record of 9 wins, 4 draws, and 5 defeats in 18 matches this season. With the second-best defensive record in the league behind Barcelona, conceding only 13 times, Villarreal is a force to be reckoned with.
Rayo Vallecano, on the other hand, earned a return to La Liga through the Segunda Division playoffs in 2020-21 and finished 12th in Spain’s top flight last term. With 7 wins, 5 draws, and 6 losses in 18 matches this season, Los Franjirrojos have collected 26 points and sit nine points clear of the bottom three. Although Andoni Iraola’s side has only managed to win one of their last five matches in the league, they remain a strong contender.
Villarreal La Liga form: L W W W D W
Villarreal form (all competitions): W W W D L W
Rayo Vallecano La Liga form: W D D L W L
Rayo Vallecano form (all competitions): W D L L W L
Heading into Monday’s match, both teams have their share of injury problems. Villarreal has Raul Albiol, Francis Coquelin, Kiko Femenia, Alfonso Pedraza, and Giovani Lo Celso out of the squad, while Rayo Vallecano’s Oscar Valentin remains on the sidelines with a muscular problem.
Villarreal is expected to start with a lineup of Reina, Mandi, Cuenca, Torres, Mojica, Capoue, Parejo, Baena, Chukwueze, G Moreno, and Pino. Rayo Vallecano, on the other hand, could start with Dimitrievski, Balliu, Lejeune, Catena, F Garcia, Comesana, Ciss, Palazon, Trejo, A Garcia, and Camello.
In conclusion, both teams will be battling for top-four glory in La Liga. With both sides having injury concerns and each looking to continue their impressive run, the match promises to be an exciting one.