Oct. 4th La Liga Picks: Rayo Vallecano vs. Barcelona

Lee Phelps

Friday, October 3, 2014 3:33 PM GMT

Barcelona suffered their first defeat of the season and ruined a few betting slips on Tuesday. Can they bounce back to winning ways at Rayo Vallecano? Here's our prediction.

Welcome to the tennis match preview between Rayo Vallecano and Barcelona. We’re predicting a six love score line in the first set to Barcelona. Ok, ok I’m being silly but looking at the head-to-heads between them and Barca’s form so far in La Liga, 6-0 looks a possibility.

 

Barcelona
Remarkably Barcelona conceded their first goal in their first defeat of the season in France during Tuesday night’s Champions League group match. The errors they may have got away with were punished by PSG even without Zlatan and they come back to domestic action with a point to prove. There were positives for Barca still though as detailed on barcelonafootballblog.com: “The Messi and Neymar interplay is good, those two are developing a bond that means danger for opponents. This is the seventh match of a young season, featuring a new coach, completely new staff and a squad of which a third is new. If you aren’t impressed, you should be. The technical errors are easily correctable, even as the wandering focus isn’t. PSG kicked butt, but Barca also presented its butt to be kicked.”

The last point is key, if a little crass. Barca dominate domestically and don’t give many teams the opportunity, plus even if they do, not many teams are capable of doing that much kicking.

 

Rayo
Vallecano’s first home game was a goalless draw at home to champions Atletico Madrid and they must have taken great confidence from that result. Since then it’s been a real mixed bag for Paco Jemez side with another draw, two losses and two wins. The victories came against Athletic Club who are 16th and Levante who are second bottom. It’s not overly impressive and they have already conceded 10 goals.

Scoring hasn’t been too much of an issue despite their relatively low three shots on target per game average so far. Defensively they rank well, only conceding 11 shots per game. So where do Barca sit on the stats? They are top of the shots conceded total, allowing opponents just six attempts a game, while up front they have had 42 shots on target so far, from 95 shots in total. That is some ratio for a team with world class finishers. It’s no surprise they have been scoring hatfuls until Malaga and the nil draw, which featured no shot on target for Barca for the first time since the 2003/04 season. Other than that game they have scored 17 times.

 

Head-to-head
Since Rayo came back into the top division they have had terrible results against this weekend’s visitors losing all six games by an aggregate score of 29-1! Lionel Messi has scored eight times in that sequence too. The home team must have studied Malaga’s approach ahead of this game and I believe they will attempt to mimic that approach, but can they keep them out? The answer has to be no, but I think they will go close. Under 2.5 goals in the game is 21/10 and that’s my favourite soccer pick given the defensive stats of both sides.

Soccer Pick: Under 2.5 goals 21/10 at 5Dimes

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