Image for Greg Lea Greg Lea - October 25, 2022

Atletico Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano: Diego Simeone’s Side to Continue Fine Form

  • Atletico Madrid have won two games on the bounce to climb into the top four
  • Rayo Vallecano have had an inconsistent start to the 2022/23 La Liga campaign
  • Atletico Madrid’s mean defense can keep another clean sheet in a home victory

Atletico Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano Odds

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To Win to NilOdds
Atletico Madrid+128
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Rayo Vallecano+800
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Atletico Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano Pick

Diego Simeone’s side kept a clean sheet at the weekend and we reckon they will shut their opponents out in this midweek fixture too.

Back Atletico Madrid to beat Rayo Vallecano to nil on Tuesday (+128)

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Atletico Madrid Vs Rayo Vallecano Predictions

Atletico Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano Predictions

Refocused Atletico Madrid Not Giving up on Title Just Yet

The weekend just gone was always going to present Atletico Madrid with an opportunity. The first Clasico of the campaign between Real Madrid and Barcelona meant at least one of Spain’s big two was guaranteed to drop points (in the end it was Barcelona). That meant Atletico had the chance to close ground on one of the favorites for the La Liga title.

To do so, though, Diego Simeone’s side had to take care of their own business - and that would not necessarily be straightforward. A trip to San Mames to face Athletic Bilbao was a tough assignment for the Colchoneros, who lost 2-0 at that ground in April. The Basques have made a strong start to the campaign and went into the match in third place and full of optimism.

It is now Atletico who occupy third spot in the standings after a 1-0 win in the Basque Country. Antoine Griezmann was the difference-maker, scoring the only goal of the game in the 47th minute. It is surely no coincidence that Atletico’s form has picked up since Griezmann’s future was resolved, before which Simeone was not able to start the Frenchman due to a clause in his loan agreement with Barcelona.

In many ways it was a typical Atletico performance at San Mames. This is a team which, despite title triumphs in 2014 and 2021, still looks more comfortable when it does not have too much possession.

Athletic had 61 percent of the ball on Saturday, allowing the visitors to focus on keeping things tight at the back and mounting counter-attacks when possession changed hands. Dogged and determined, Atletico kept a clean sheet to remain within six points of top spot. They are not out of the title race just yet.

Rayo Vallecano’s Season Could Go Either Way... Or Neither

Rayo Vallecano finished 12th last term and they again find themselves in mid-table after nine games in the current campaign. A 0-0 draw with Getafe on Saturday illustrated some of their strengths and some of their weaknesses under Andoni Iraola.

Their season could still go either way - a positive run of form would raise hopes about a possible challenge for the Europa League or the Europa Conference League, but a poor sequence would lead to fears that Rayo could be sucked into a relegation battle. Or perhaps neither will happen and the club from Madrid will spend most of the season halfway up the standings.

In the first half of last term, qualification for continental competition certainly looked like a possibility for Rayo. But their form collapsed after the turn of the year and they soon slipped down the table. In fairness, Iraola’s side were always punching above their weight by challenging around the top six.

This time aroundm Rayo are struggling for consistency. They are yet to win back-to-back games this term; in fact, each of their three victories to date has been immediately followed by a defeat. And three consecutive losses on the road underlines how difficult Rayo will find Tuesday’s short trip to the Civitas Metropolitano.

Rayo are an entertaining team to watch when they are able to impose their full-blooded style on opponents, but that will be difficult to do away to Atletico. That further complicates their task this midweek.

Another Clean Sheet and Victory for Atletico the Best Bet Here

In a strange way, Atletico might look less comfortable on Tuesday than they did at the weekend. With all due respect to Rayo, a home game against a mid-table team is not as difficult a match as a trip to high-flying Athletic Bilbao.

Yet whereas Atletico could take a reactive approach on Saturday - a style that Simeone excels at coaching - they will be obliged to play on the front foot in this one. Rayo are actually averaging more possession than their upcoming opponents so far in 2022/23, but they would be wise to allow Atletico the ball on Tuesday, knowing that Simeone’s side seldom look completely comfortable when they are forced to take the initiative.

Even so, Atletico are in good form at the moment and they will expect to get the job done in front of their own fans. They have now won three games on the bounce in La Liga, and four of their last five.

Surprisingly, the Colchoneros are without a clean sheet in front of their own fans in the league this term, but Tuesday’s contest provides them with an opportunity to get off the mark in that regard. Back a home win to nil when Atletico Madrid host Rayo Vallecano on matchday 10 in La Liga.

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How to WatchAtletico Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano

TeamsAtletico Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano
LocationCivitas Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain
TimeTuesday, 18 October 2022, 15.00 PM EST
How to watchESPN+

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AUTHOR

Greg Lea

571 Articles

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]

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