Preview: Rayo Vallecano - Real Madrid (League, Day 5)

Real Madrid returns to the reality of the Spanish league after the pomp of the Champions League, the shining spotlights of the heroic comeback against Manchester City, and aftertaste of sweet fellowship that was between the team and the Bernabeu fans with Cristiano Ronaldo's goal in minute 90'. And the reality is that white team has four points in four league games, and needs to start scoring points, three at every game.

Cristiano Ronaldo against Rayo Vallecano
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrating his goal at Vallecas 

And in this frame of mind, the truth is that a match against Rayo Vallecano in Vallecas is not the best scenario to lift head. Because Rayo is not the team with more quality of the championship, but its footballers play with heart, and the closeness of the stands in the stadium consumes oxygen of the rivals. The Real Madrid took the three points last season by the grace of a heel by Cristiano Ronaldo, who still not really knows how it happened with five local defenses in front, and certainly the Portuguese is not expected to have a placid Sunday against Paco Jemez's team.

Also, Real Madrid also comes to the match in a situation, far from comfortable. Quite the contrary. Tuesday's 3-2 win against Manchester City served to dampen many discussions, but they are dormant in the environment, and at any time may be reproduced on Sunday. One discussion is about the tactical disposition of Jose Mourinho, who on Tuesday wanted to bolster his midfield with a three-players defensive line that seems unlikely to use again.

Another is the substitution of Sergio Ramos. Given the quality of the Spanish player, there would not be many reasons to relegate the player to the bench, but causes still are not quite unclear, so his presence in the starting lineup is a mystery. As are the reasons why Iker Casillas did not celebrate the Cristiano Ronaldo's goal against Manchester City.

Cristiano Ronaldo who still will be followed by the eyes of all the Real Madrid supporters after ensuring that he was "sad". He played hard against Sevilla and Manchester City, and even found the goal, but still does not perform at his best, and without diminishing his defiance: "I never regret what I say" commented the Tuesday night.

So, with the rope on the neck, there are many fronts in the Real Madrid which can be resolved in Vallecas this Sunday. In principle, Jose Mourinho has all his players to seek victory except for Fabio Coentrao, punished. The coach has had five days to train for the match, and there are no any official matches until the following Sunday, an oxygen tank to find the win against Rayo Vallecano, that promises much war, has started very well this season with three points over Real Madrid, and comes with all available men and prepared for battle.

Expected Starting Lineups

Rayo Vallecano: Ruben, Tito, Amat, Casado, Galvez, Javi Fuego, Trashorras, Piti, Leo Baptistao, Jose Carlos, Bille.
Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Xabi Alonso, Khedira, Di Maria, Cristiano Ronaldo, Higuain, Özil.

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