Real Madrid visit local neighbours Rayo Vallecano this evening fresh from their astonishing 9-1 win over Granada at the weekend.
With Barcelona playing at home to Almeria, a game they should win, Real will go into the game at the Estadio de Vallecas knowing they will need a win to keep the pressure on the Catalan outfit with games now starting to run out.
The good news for Carlo Ancelotti’s men is that they are currently enjoying some domination over the Madrid minnows, having won all of the last 10 encounters between the two sides. Real should have enough quality to beat Rayo tonight, although the Champions League holders have been beaten on their travels in the last two La Liga outings, at Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona. Rayo meanwhile have won their last three at home.
In terms of team news, Gareth Bale is a serious doubt after picking up a foot injury in the win over Granada. Alvaro Arbeloa is suspended for tonight’s clash after picking up a yellow card at the weekend, meaning Daniel Carvajal should take his place in the starting 11. Pepe is the only other notable absentee through injury.
Rayo Vallecano: Alvarez; Insua, Amaya, Castro, Tito; Jozabed, Trashorras; Kakuta, Bueno, Embarda; Manucho
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Modric, Isco; Rodriguez, Benzema, Ronaldo