Rayo to storm fortress Santiago Bernabeu

MADRID - Rayo Vallecano have made a mockery of their financial woes and played some of the best football in La Liga this season to climb to sixth and can test their progress when they take on wealthy city rivals Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Sunday.
Coach Paco Jemez has guided modest Rayo into sixth place despite the club being in administration. Net photo.
Coach Paco Jemez has guided modest Rayo into sixth place despite the club being in administration. Net photo.

Saturday
Getafe         vs     Celta Vigo    17:00   
Malaga         vs     Athletic    19:00   
Granada         vs     Barcelona    21:00   
Osasuna         vs     R Zaragoza    23:00   

Sunday
R Sociedad     vs     Levante    14:00   
Valencia         vs     Mallorca    18:00   
Valladolid     vs     Atletico    20:00   
Real Madrid     vs     Rayo    22:00   
Espanyol         vs     Betis

MADRID - Rayo Vallecano have made a mockery of their financial woes and played some of the best football in La Liga this season to climb to sixth and can test their progress when they take on wealthy city rivals Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Sunday.

A thoroughly deserved 2-1 win at home to second-placed Atletico Madrid last weekend prompted talk of a realistic chance of a place in Europe next term and enhanced Rayo’s reputation as one of Spain’s “giant killers”.

The modest club, whose 15 000-seater stadium has only three stands with one end used for advertising, are transformed from the side that were mired in the third-tier in Spanish football between 2004 and 2008.

They narrowly avoided relegation last season after coming up from the second division but under the guidance of coach Paco Jemez and fired by the goals of captain Piti and fellow forward Leo Baptistao, they have become a genuine force, with wins at Valencia, Athletic Bilbao and Malaga.

“We are now in a situation where we only have to look forward,” Jemez told a news conference this week.

They face a monumental task at champions Real, who are undefeated at the Bernabeu in all competitions this season but have suffered erratic form away from home and are four points behind Atletico and 16 behind leaders Barcelona.

 

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