Barcelona had some really tough luck when Lionel Messi picked up an injury a couple of weeks back, but that didn’t stop them. They have been prefect in his absence, winning each of their last four in all competitions. They will now have a theoretically easy job on the road, as they will be hosted by Rayo Vallecano on Saturday. Rayo Vallecano have only won a single match so far and are struggling in their return to the La Liga.
Date/Time: 11-3-2018, 15:45 EDT
Spread: Barcelona -1.5
Total: 3.25 Goals
Rayo Vallecano (1-6-3) played a pretty solid match in the Copa del Rey against Leganes on the road. But despite taking an early two-goal lead, their opponents managed to pull even. Even so, it was a great result and they now have to play the second leg at home. Last week they fell by 1-2 on the road against Girona , and have generally been pretty bad so far in the season. However, they have scored in all their matches so far, except one. Rayo Vallecano are now sitting at the penultimate spot of the league table with 6 points, having scored 10 goals, but conceding twice as many. They have yet to win at home so far in the season (0-3-2), but they have scored in all their matches. However, they have conceded multiple goals in four of those matches.
On the other hand, Barcelona (6-1-3) are coming into this match after a pretty slim 1-0 win on the road against Leonesa in the Copa del Rey. The Blaugrana saw Lionel Messi suffer a broken arm in their match against Sevilla, but have been excellent since then. They have won four in a row and five of their last six. And they faced teams like Tottenham, Sevilla, Inter Milan and Real Madrid in that span. In their last league match they destroyed Real Madrid by a massive 1-5 at home in the El Clasico and are in really great form at the moment. Barcelona are still leading the La Liga with 21 points, featuring the best offense with 28 points, while conceding 12 in the process. They have a 2-1-1 away record in the La Liga, and have also recorded a couple of wins in the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.
The two teams last met in the 2015/16 season, where Barcelona blasted Rayo Vallecano in both matches. After a strong 2-5 at home they also won by an even bigger 5-1 in this venue. They have won each of the last 11 matches against this opponent, while their overall record in this venue stands at 5-2-2 in the past two decades.
Rayo Vallecano clearly have troubles in their return to the La Liga, and having to host Barcelona will surely add to it. Barcelona are in really great form right now, and despite having a Champions League match coming their way they should be able to cover the spread. The Over 3.25 Goals also looks nice here, as Rayo Vallecano have scored consistently so far.
La Liga Rayo Vallecano vs Barcelona Prediction: Barcelona -1.5 (-121)
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