Preview: Rayo Vallecano vs. Atletico Madrid – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday’s La Liga clash between Rayo Vallecano and Atletico Madrid, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

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.

Match preview

Elche coach Francisco Rodriguez on March 6, 2022© Reuters

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 Madrid's Memphis Depay celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on July 30, 2023© Reuters

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:

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Team News

Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix on the bench on October 12, 2022© Reuters

Rayo have a slight concern over Andres Martin, who has a muscular issue, but the home side are otherwise in excellent shape heading into the contest with Atletico.

De Frutos is pushing for a spot in the side following his recent arrival, and the Spaniard could now be introduced into the XI, potentially at the expense of Oscar Trejo.

Ciss and Raul de Tomas are also among the options for change, but it seems likely that head coach Francisco will stick with the bulk of the side that has performed well early in the season.

Atletico, meanwhile, will again be without the services of Reinildo, Jose Gimenez, Koke and Angel Correa for the contest with Rayo.

Yannick Carrasco is also a doubt with a muscular problem, which could lead to Samuel Lino coming into the side as the left-sided wing-back on Monday evening.

Felix missed out against Real Betis with a knock and is unlikely to figure here due to the speculation surrounding his future, with Memphis Depay expected to keep his starting role alongside Antoine Griezmann in the final third of the field.

Rayo Vallecano possible starting lineup:
Dimitrievski; Balliu, Aridane, Lejeune, Espino; Palazon, U Lopez, Valentin, A Garcia; De Frutos, Nketa

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Savic, Witsel, Hermoso; Azpilicueta, Llorente, De Paul, Lemar, Lino; Memphis, Griezmann

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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.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 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 3.5:data

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