barca vs Rayo Vallecano preview & prediction
The Catalan giants finished second in the table last season, 13 points behind the champions Real Madrid, while Rayo impressed on their return to Spain’s top flight from the Segunda Division, claiming 13th position.
A disappointing 2021-22 season saw Barcelona fail to win a trophy, but the club will be expected to challenge for major silverware this term, especially considering their summer business, with a number of statement signings arriving despite the club’s ongoing financial problems.
Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde have all arrived to boost the squad, while it is understood that Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso and Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva are still wanted, which would make it an even more extraordinary window for the club.
It is now three seasons without a league trophy for the Catalan outfit, finishing second, third and second since last lifting the title in 2018-19, and they were 13 points behind the champions Real Madrid last season; the club were also eliminated in the group stage of the 2021-22 Champions League, which saw them play in the Europa League for the first time since 2003.
The first half of the 2021-22 campaign was turbulent for Barcelona, with the club struggling to deal with Lionel Messi’s departure, but there has been plenty of progression since Xavi’s arrival as head coach, and it would be fair to say that the supporters are feeling confident ahead of the new campaign.
The Catalan side have been full of goals during pre-season, and they were excellent in their last game on August 7, recording a 6-0 win over Mexican outfit Pumas at Camp Nou to win the Joan Gamper Trophy.
Rayo will be tasked with making it an unhappy start for Barcelona, and the fact that they enjoyed such an impressive 2021-22 campaign should mean that confidence is high in the camp.
Los Franjirrojos advanced through the 2020-21 Segunda Division playoffs to secure a return to the top flight for last season, and they claimed 12th in 2021-22, boasting a record of 11 wins, nine draws and 18 defeats, which brought them 42 points, four points more than 18th-place Granada.
Rayo are a team that like to get hold of the ball and pass it, which they did so impressively for long spells of last season. The visitors are more than capable of picking up a positive result in this match, but we are finding it very difficult to look past Barcelona, providing that they are able to register their new signings.
Value Bet: barca win & over 1.5
Barcelona 3-1 Rayo Vallecano