FC Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano : Match preview
Barcelona will set a new prestigious La Liga record if they avoid a defeat against Rayo Vallecano in Madrid on Thursday night and there really appears little danger of them losing the intent focus as they march relentlessly towards yet another Spanish title.
Win or draw – whatever the result is, Barca will surpass arch-rivals Real Madrid‘s current standing record of 34 matches without a defeat, set during the 1988/89 season. Victory will witness the reigning champions extend their lead comfortably at the top of the table to an impressive eight points.
But it is business as usual for their head coach Luis Enrique, who will be without the presence of suspended right-back Dani Alves but has no major injury concerns after his side were lately forced to come from behind last Sunday to defeat Seville 2-1 at Camp Nou.
Enrique acknowledged his formidable squad before insisting that the title race was far from being over and there could be no real let-up against Rayo.
“I highly value the great squad I have, who are a unique and different group,” he remarked in the club’s official website. “Barca has an identity and this can be seen over many years.”
Barcelona played eight games last February, drawing one and then winning seven, including a 2-0 Champions League victory against Arsenal in London which made them huge favourites to reach the quarter-finals now.
When asked if he would favour to continue to rotate his squad – and possibly rest the superstars Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, Enrique said: “Being a coach is about constantly making decisions. Until an hour before the game, nobody knows who will play.
“Resting the three forwards will depend on what I see fit. What I do is always for the benefit of the team, without committing risks.”
Rayo have incidentally drawn their last three La Liga fixtures 2-2 and have now climbed two points clear of the frightening relegation zone on the back of a handsome seven-game unbeaten run.