Match preview: Rayo Vallecano vs FC Barcelona: No Defenders, EverBy: Natasha | October 26th, 2012
We’ve had a few days to recover after Tuesday’s match. Just in time for tomorrow’s match against Rayo Vallecano, right? Right…
The good news is that Dani Alves is back and part of the squad list. The bad news is that Mascherano is suspended after receiving a red card last week and the club’s appeal was rejected. What Barça giveth, Barça taketh away. At least he won’t score another own goal? I’m sure a different player will manage to, though. Why stop now?! Meanwhile, the never ending defence crisis is still just that – never ending – and I think I am yet to write a preview that doesn’t mention the fact that we have no experienced centre backs.
So what to expect tomorrow? Last time Barça faced Rayo, it ended 0-7 to Barça. Given that clean sheets seem to be a thing of the past, and especially as there’s a distinct lack of centre backs, I don’t think we’ll see a repeat of that scoreline. Rayo’s last 6 matches have consisted of four losses, one win and one draw and they’re currently in 12th position, but interestingly, only 4 points behind Real Madrid who are in 4th position.
Much has been made of Barça’s 8-point advantage over Real Madrid, but I think the threat of Atletico has been overlooked. They’re also on 22 points, although Barça are ahead on goal difference, but there’s no room for error.
Allow me to try and piece together a squad, then. I predict we’ll see Valdes – Dani Alves, Bartra, Song, Jordi Alba – Busquets, Iniesta, Cesc – Tello, Messi, Alexis. I hope we see Bartra play the full 90 minutes tomorrow, not just because he’s the only choice for CB (or, erm, Adriano can play there?), but because he played pretty well on Tuesday and now is the time for him to step up to the challenge. It’s not ideal for him to be partnered with Song because he needs to play with Puyol or Piqué and learn from their experience, but that’s how it goes. Let’s rest Xavi and play Cesc and see if he continues his good form. As for the attack, can we please have Tello to try and stop the fruitless attacking down the middle? Good. Messi will never rest, and Alexis will play purely to frustrate me and do very little.
That’s my attempt at reverse psychology for today.
As for a predicted scoreline, I will go for 1-3. If the last few matches are anything to go by, Rayo will score first and Barça will make things very difficult for themselves and even it up in the second half and go on to win. Messi must score another hattrick or there will be calls to sell him due to his poor form. Busquets will do everything right and he will be given a player rating of 12. Haha. I’m going to stop before this gets silly…or even sillier, actually.
In non-match related news, today is Adriano’s birthday! May his birthday gift be a win tomorrow.
We kick off tomorrow at 9pm GMT, 10pm CET. Visca Barça!
Some Related Barcelona Posts:
- La Liga preview: FC Barcelona vs Granada CF: Defenders gone M.I.A.
- La Liga preview: Deportivo La Coruña vs Barça, Or, Of Villa, Defenders, and the Lack of Thereof
- Of Defenders, Celebrations and Mental Resilience