Sports Mole previews Sunday’s La Liga clash between Osasuna and Rayo Vallecano, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Both Osasuna and Rayo Vallecano will be looking to bounce back from defeats when they lock horns at Estadio El Sadar on Sunday afternoon.
Osasuna, who are seventh in the La Liga table, will enter the contest off the back of a 1-0 loss at Real Betis, while Rayo suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Mallorca last time out.
Osasuna made an encouraging start to the new La Liga campaign, recording back-to-back wins over Sevilla and Cadiz, but they will enter this match off the back of a 1-0 loss to Real Betis.
Borja Iglesias scored the only goal of the match in the 34th minute of the contest in Seville, and the result has left Los Rojillos in seventh position in the table on six points, which represents a solid opening to the season.
Osasuna were promoted back to La Liga for the 2019-20 campaign, and they have managed to consolidate in the top flight once again, finishing 10th, 11th and 10th in their last three seasons.
Jagoba Arrasate‘s side will again be bidding to secure a top-half finish this term, and they have three winnable fixtures against Rayo, Almeria and Getafe ahead of the international break, before the small matter of a trip to the Bernabeu to take on Real Madrid at the beginning of October.
Osasuna did a league double over Rayo last season, recording a 4-0 aggregate score across their two matches, while they have only lost one of their last six La Liga encounters with their opponents here.
Rayo, meanwhile, also made a strong start to the campaign, picking up a point at Barcelona on August 13 before running out 2-0 winners over Espanyol one week later.
The capital outfit will enter this match off the back of a disappointing result, though, having lost 2-0 at home to Mallorca last time out, with Vedat Muriqi and Lee Kang-in on the scoresheet in Madrid.
Rayo were impressive in La Liga last season, finishing 12th in the table upon their return to this level of football, managing to secure back-to-back campaigns at the top level for the first time since 2016.
Andoni Iraola‘s side had a busy summer transfer window, with Florian Lejeune, Unai Lopez and Salvi Sanchez among those arriving to boost the squad, while the club has managed to keep hold of their key players.
Rayo were disappointing on their travels last season, only winning three La Liga matches, so that is certainly an area that the club will be looking to improve on during the 2022-23 campaign.
Osasuna La Liga form:
Rayo Vallecano La Liga form:
Osasuna will again be missing Kike Saverio due to a tendon issue, but the home side are otherwise in strong shape heading into this weekend’s contest.
Head coach Arrasate is expected to resist the temptation to shuffle his pack for this match, but there could be a change in the final third of the field, with Ante Budimir potentially coming in to partner Ezequiel Avila.
Kike Garcia and Manu Sanchez are among those pushing for spots in the first XI, but the likes of Moi Gomez and Lucas Torro should retain their positions in the starting side on Sunday.
Not even Rayo, Andres Martin remains unavailable for selection due to a shoulder problem, while Diego Lopez and Isi Palazon are expected to be absent once again.
The visitors will be boosted by the return of Lejeune from suspension, though, and the experienced centre-back is likely to come into the starting side here.
Head coach Iraola is unlikely to make wholesale changes for this match, with Radamel Falcao again set to lead the line with support from Alvaro Garcia, Oscar Trejo and Salvi Sanchez.
Osasuna possible starting lineup:
Herrera; Vidal, U Garcia, D Garcia, Cruz; Pena, Moncayola, Torro, M Gomez; Budimir, Avila
Rayo Vallecano possible starting lineup:
Dimitrievsky; Balliu, Ciss, Lejeune, F Garcia; Valentin, U Lopez; A Garcia, Trejo, Salvi; Falcao
We say: Osasuna 1-1 Rayo Vallecano
Both of these sides will be bidding to bounce back from defeats last time out, and we can see the points being shared on Sunday afternoon. Osasuna, as well as the hosts, should be the favourites, but Rayo have enough quality to secure a share of the spoils in this match.
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Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data