Rayo Vallecano and Levante conclude their La Liga seasons when they go head to head at the Estadio de Vallecas on Friday evening.
Neither side have anything to play for in their final outing before the summer, with the hosts occupying a comfortable mid-table position and the visitors having their relegation from the top flight already confirmed.
A season which had provided so much unexpected hope just a few months ago has petered out rather disappointingly for Vallecano in the closing stages of the campaign.
Following promotion from the second tier last year, La Liga survival was all that had been targeted last August, but after a remarkable start to the 2021-22 campaign, Andoni Iraola’s side were making an incredible push for the European places.
However, momentum was lost for Los Franjirrojos following the winter break, which has resulted in an alarming dip in form that has yielded just two victories from their 19 league outings in 2022.
The latest of their poor results this year came at Mallorca on Sunday, in which Iraola’s men were beaten 2-1 following a late goal from their opponents.
After heading into the break a goal behind, Vallecano responded well in the second 45 and deservedly equalised through Ismaila Ciss, but despite a dominant second-half performance, they came away from the Estadi de Son Moix empty handed.
As a result, Friday’s hosts head into the game in 12th place in the La Liga table, with various outcomes over the final weekend in Spain meaning that they could finish as high as 11th, or as low as 14th, but regardless of their dramatic drop off in form, the 2021-22 campaign has been a successful one for the promoted side.
Meanwhile, Levante’s five-year stay in La Liga comes to an end on Friday evening, with the heavy 6-0 defeat at champions Real Madrid last Thursday sealing their fate.
A disappointing relegation does not tell the full story for the Frogs however, who have fought for their survival admirably in recent months.
After winning just three of their opening 29 league games of the campaign, Levante have gone on to win four of their last eight outings under Alessio Lisci, who has slowly but surely begun to record successful results since taking over in November.
However, it has proven to be too little too late for Friday’s visitors, although a positive end to the campaign looks to have set the side up nicely ahead of a summer rebuild, with the view to an immediate return to the top flight via promotion next season.
Despite the damaging defeat at the Bernaebu further worsening Levante’s defensive record of late – in which they have conceded 16 goals during their positive eight-game period – the relegated side have managed to find the back of the net as many times during those matches.
As a result, just three defeats have been suffered during this spell, which have arrived against three of the league’s top four sides – Los Blancos, Barcelona and Sevilla.
Levante therefore have every reason to head to the Estadio de Vallecas on Friday evening with no pressure on their shoulders, and instead take with them a great deal of confidence as they look to end their disappointing season on a high.
Rayo Vallecano La Liga form:
Levante La Liga form:
We say: Rayo Vallecano 2-1 Levante
Despite Vallecano’s awful finish to the season over the last few months, and Levante’s revival in form, we can see the hosts edging out their visitors by a narrow margin here.
Levante have picked up just 10 points from the 54 available to them on their travels this season, whilst eight of Vallecano’s 11 league wins have arrived in front of their own supporters, so we are predicting a home win following an entertaining encounter.