29 January 2019
The European promotion contestants and the relegation zone battlers go head-to-head as Deportivo Alaves host Rayo Vallecano to the Estadio Mendizorrotza.
Surprisingly but the Babazorros sit fifth in the table with a three-point lead over seventh-place Valencia and have good chances of securing the Europa League slot if they can maintain the same rhythm from the first part of the season. The hosts come into this meeting as one of two unbeaten home sides in La Liga (W5, D4). Four of Alaves’ five LL home triumphs have finished with the identical 2-1 scoreline, with Abelardo’s men coming from behind in each. El Glorioso’s main strength is their firm backline that has conceded just six goals in nine LL home clashes this term, preventing their rivals from scoring over 1.5 goals per match every time.
Meanwhile, the visitors go in search of revenge after a disastrous 5-1 defeat in the reverse match back in September. Rayo’s chances of stunning Alaves are solid, considering they’ve entered this fixture with a four-game LL lossless run (W3, D1). Michel’s players have scored over 1.5 goals per match three times in that period, allowing five goals in the process though. However, a worrying fact for Los Franjirrojos should be that they’ve lost on five successive road trips before beating Valladolid 1-0. Confused and unconvincing away from home, Los Vallecanos have scored just five goals in nine LL road meetings – fewer than any other team in the Spanish top flight. What’s more, they’ve failed to hit the net on three of their last four LL road trips.
Provisional line-up – Deportivo Alaves:
Gk: Pacheco Defense: Ruben Duarte – Maripan – Ximo Navarro – Martin Defense: Burgui – Tomas Pina – Manu Garcia – Borja Baston Attack: Calleri – Sobrino
Provisional line-up – Rayo Vallecano:
Gk: Dimitrievski Defense: Advincula – Velasquez – Jordi Amat – Alex Moreno – Abdoulaye Ba Midfield: Comesana – Imbula – Oscar Trejo Attack: Embarba – Raul de Tomas
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