Preview: Rayo Vallecano vs. Atletico Madrid

Preview: Rayo Vallecano vs. Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid will be aiming to stop an in-form Rayo Vallecano in their tracks when the two teams lock horns in Spain’s top flight on Monday evening.

Rayo have six points from their opening two matches of the 2023-24 La Liga season, while Atletico have gathered four, beating Granada before drawing with Real Betis last time out.

Rayo lost their manager over the summer, with Andoni Iraola moving to Bournemouth, but new head coach Francisco has made the perfect start, boasting an 100% record from two matches this season.

Indeed, the capital outfit opened their 2023-24 campaign with a 2-0 victory over Almeria on August 11 before winning by the same scoreline away to Granada last time out.

The two teams were level at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes until the 75th minute, when Alvaro Garcia made the breakthrough, before Pathe Ciss doubled the away side’s advantage four minutes later.

Rayo have finished 12th and 11th in their last two seasons in Spain’s top flight, and it is not out of the question that they could push for a European finish during the 2023-24 campaign, but consistency will be the name of the game for the entertaining outfit.

Los Franjirrojos have managed to make eight new signings during this summer’s transfer window, with the biggest of those in terms of a transfer fee proving to be Jorge de Frutos from Levante.

Atletico, meanwhile, will enter this match off the back of a goalless draw with Real Betis last weekend, which followed a 3-1 success over Granada in their first game of the season.

Diego Simeone’s side found it difficult in the first half of the 2022-23 campaign, but they were excellent in the second part of the season, with their absence from Europe helping them in the league.

Atletico ultimately finished third, just one point behind second-placed Real Madrid but 11 from the champions Barcelona; the top two are not looking unbeatable this season, though, and it will be fascinating to see whether the Red and Whites can launch a challenge for the title.

Simeone’s team have made five new signings this summer, while there have also been a number of departures, and Joao Felix is widely expected to leave before the transfer deadline.

Atletico are unbeaten against Rayo in Spain’s top flight since February 2013, while they recorded a 2-1 victory when the two teams locked horns in the corresponding match during the 2022-23 campaign.

Rayo Vallecano La Liga form:

Atletico Madrid La Liga form:

We say: Rayo Vallecano 1-2 Atletico Madrid
This is a very tough match to call, and it would not be a surprise to see a home win on Monday. Rayo can be unpredictable despite their strong start, though, and we are backing Atletico to navigate their way to all three points in what should be an entertaining contest.

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