Back-to-back defeats for Real Madrid in the past week have put a big dent it their title hopes but they will be confident of getting back to winning ways this evening against relegation threatened Rayo Vallecano.
The results against Barcelona and Sevilla saw Los Blancos drop from first to third in the league, and they’ll need to pick up three points to keep their title hopes alive.
In terms of team news, Sergio Ramos will be back in the team having missed the game at his former club during the week through suspension. Angel di Maria is also back after serving a one-match ban.
In attack, Carlos Ancelotti confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo will play despite having a tendonitis problem in his left knee. He has scored in his last nine games for club and country, and has already netted 27 in La Liga this season. Gareth Bale will be looking to have a positive game after criticism of his recent performances. The Welshman hasn’t found the back of the net for a month now.
Although they have conceded the most goals in La Liga, Rayo actually come to the Santiago Bernabeu in a rich vein of form. Their four wins and a draw in their last five games have seen them pull away from the relegation zone. They also gave Madrid a run for their money back in November, narrowly losing out 3-2, so Los Blancos will need to work hard for the win tonight.
Probable line ups:
Real Madrid: Lopez; Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo; Modric, Illarramendi, Di Maria; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
Rayo Vallecano: Martinez; Arbilla, Castro, Galvez, Rat; Trashorras, Ninguez, Rochina, Bueno, Falque; Larrivey