Rayo Vallecano v Athletic Bilbao – Betting Preview
Rayo Vallecano Summary
Rayo Vallecano suffered a setback last weekend by losing to lowly Cadiz. However, they remain in sixth place before any games in this round have begun and are enjoying a highly successful season.
Their spirit and confidence are strong. They will aim and expect to beat the Basques in this fixture, anything less is another dent in their top-six hopes as Athletic is a rival for this goal.
Rayo occupies a highly impressive sixth position but has numerous clubs chasing them, including the Basques.
Looking now at team news for this encounter against Athletic Club, which is all very positive and only positive selection dilemmas.
Iraola has the entire Squad available but for the suspended Catena. The belief is that they Will make some moves after the previous week left a bad image of the tactical aspect of their approach
In short, Andoni Iraola will make changes in personnel and tactics to get an improved performance in attack. The expectation is that they return to the 4-2-3-1. This after a failed 4-4-2 last time out.
Athletic Club Summary
Athletic Bilbao’s inconsistency continues after they seemed to have come out of a slump in form with back-to-back wins in early February.
Since those confidence boosting wins over Cadiz and Valencia, they dropped to defeat at the Wanda Metropolitano and then a crushing defeat 2-3 at home to Girona last weekend.
Now in 9th place, they need to win here and prevent losing further momentum or damaging confidence too much.
The Basques will be set on 3 points against Rayo who is a direct top-six rival. Anything less than a win means they cannot move into the European places this weekend.
Looking at the team news, the headline is the doubt over their star performing keeper Unai Simon, who is at best, rated 50/50 to pass fit.
Athletic is certainly missing regular centre-back Yeray Álvarez who is banned, but all eyes are over the Spanish international Unai Simon. If he misses out, then it is a big loss.
Vivian returns from a suspension. Capa and Ander Herrera remain out long-term.
Looking at the 1×2 market first. The slight favourite for this game is Athletic @ 2.60.
Rayo is higher in the league table and at home. The host is possibly a little disrespected in the market as the outsider @ 2.90.
The view here is that neither team is reliable right now, and so the draw could be the way to go here for value @ 3.10.
Moving onto the Asian handicap market for this contest. So close is the betting between these two well-matched sides, the Draw no bet (DNB) is offered as a cushion.
So backing either Rayo -0 @ 2.02 or slight favourites Athletic -0 @ 1.85 would see the full stake returned should it end as a draw.
Looking at The Under/Over goal betting last of all. The market has set the line quite low at 2 goals. Over is @ 1.78 while the Under is @ 2.07.
Slight preference for the over, but would just as easily walk away from this game.