Real earned a 7-3 win on Wednesday thanks to a Cristiano Ronaldo hat trick and two goals apiece from Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema. Of course, this was a much better performance than what was on display in the 2-1 loss to Barcelona earlier in the week.
The club now trails Barca, as well as Atletico Madrid, in La Liga and will need to get every point possible. This starts with what should be a relatively easy matchup against Rayo. The struggling club currently sits 18th in the league table and has allowed three goals in each of its past two matches.
Still, anything can happen at this level, which provides plenty of reason to watch every second of the action.
When: Saturday, Nov. 2 at 3 p.m. ET; 7 p.m. BST
Where: Campo de Futbol de Vallecas, Madrid, Spain
Watch: beIN Sport Espanol
Live Stream: beIN Sport Play
Odds (via SkyBet): Real Madrid (1-4), Rayo Vallecano (10-1), Draw (5-1)
Top Storyline: Can the Attack Continue to Gel Together?
Most clubs do not have a problem with having too many superstars on the roster, but that is exactly what Real Madrid are dealing with at this point. Carlo Ancelotti has to find a way to get Ronaldo, Bale, Isco, Benzema and others all on the pitch while giving all of them an opportunity to succeed.
Although it was just one match, the formation against Sevilla seemed to work out. In a 4-2-3-1, Bale, Isco and Ronaldo formed an attacking midfield line with Benzema up front. Although this leaves out Angel Di Maria, he can fill in for any of them off the bench.
Regardless of the formation, these men will have to learn how to play with each other. So far, Bale has only made three starts, so this comfort level will only come with time.
However, the early returns are looking pretty good in Madrid.
Prediction: Real Madrid 4, Rayo Vallecano 1
When you pair the team who has allowed the most goals in the league against the one who has scored the second most, it is not usually a recipe for a close match.
Real Madrid will continue to work on things offensively, but the individual talent will simply be too much to stop. Ronaldo should be able to score at least a goal or two, while the rest of the forwards and midfield will have plenty of chances as well.
Rayo still have not found a replacement for Piti, who led the club with 18 goals last season before transferring to Grenada. Someone like Jonathan Viera or Alberto Bueno will have to step up and get some goals onto the scoresheet.
Either way, this will be a long day for the home team.
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