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Staying on course against Rayo
Staying on course against Rayo

Villarreal will be looking for a second consecutive win to stay alive in the battle for the European places

After two weeks of away games, the Submarine return to the Estadio de la Cerámica to take on Rayo Vallecano, in the match corresponding to Matchday 33 of the 2023/24 LALIGA EA Sports season (Sunday, 6:30pm CEST). Marcelino’s men will face the game as an opportunity to stay in the race for the European places and to get closer to their competitors, who have an advantage in the race for seventh place.

Villarreal go into the game on the back of a 1-2 win over UD Almeria in an evenly contested match in which both sides lacked attacking clarity, but in which goals from Ilias Akhomach in the first half and Alexander Sorloth in the dying moments of the second half enabled them to take all three points. With six games remaining in the competition, the Submarine are in ninth place on 42 points, six points behind Real Betis in seventh place on 48 points, a position that would take them into next season’s Conference League.

Rayo Vallecano will arrive at La Ceramica on a good run of form, having gone four games unbeaten, and last time out they beat Osasuna 2-1, coming from behind in the last 10 minutes of the game. However, the side from Madrid are in 15th place in the league table with 34 points and need to secure the nine-point gap they have over the relegation zone, which Cádiz occupy with 25 points, in order to secure survival as soon as possible.

In the season of its centenary, the Rayo Vallecano side can achieve another historic year in the top flight for the club, but against Villarreal they will experience a complicated match, where the record is not in their favour. In Rayo Vallecano’s ten visits to the Estadio de la Cerámica in LALIGA EA Sports, the Submarine have won on seven occasions to just two for the visitors, with the last win for the Yellows coming in the 2021/22 season, when goals from Aïssa Mandi and Gerard Moreno gave them a 2-0 victory. In contrast, last term, the side from Madrid were able to win 0-1 at La Cerámica, with Sergio Camello scoring the only goal of the game.


Pablo González will be the main referee, with Jesús Gil Manzano on VAR.