The Santiago Bernabéu will play host to a battle between two teams enjoying widely differing runs of form of late this Saturday when Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano meet for matchday 31 of the Liga BBVA season.
Just one week ago the Whites were league leaders. However, defeats to Barcelona and Sevilla, after going 31 straight games without losing, have seen Real Madrid drop down to third, one point behind Barca and three behind Atlético Madrid, who now lie first. "Rayo play good football. It will be a tough match but we need to win it. Now we are behind in the Liga BBVA, but we have plenty of spirit and will fight right until the end", said Carlo Ancelotti, who will still have to make do without Sami Khedira, Álvaro Arbeloa and Jesé Rodríguez, all of whom are out with long-term injuries.
At the beginning of the month, Rayo was in the relegation zone. But after picking up four wins and a draw in its last five outings, the Vallecas outfit is now five points above the drop zone. "Obviously we have a chance of winning, because if we sneak one that could be enough. We are going to compete to win and enjoy our football in the Bernabéu. It is the best place to compete", stated Paco Jémez, who has now become the Rayo manager with the most wins in the Spanish topflight, with 26 victories now under his belt. The away side will have to do without Tito and Leonel Galeano, who are both injured.