Rayo Vallecano v Athletic Bilbao – Camp de Futbol de Vallecas at 17:15 live on Sky Sports 3

Sunday night’s showdown with Rayo Vallecano and Athletic Bilbao features two clubs and sets of supporters with similar ideologies, political views and footballing philosophies.

As well as offering the duo a chance to regale tales and share conversations in the stands on Sunday night, punters will get the chance to enjoy what’s likely to be an enjoyable game with plenty of goalmouth action.

You can’t help but fall for Rayo. The capital club from the working-class district of Vallecas are charming, modest, graceful and true to their roots. But matters on the pitch are also worth shouting about.

Paco Jemez’s extraordinary achievements in keeping the club in La Liga for another season and well clear of relegation deserves sustained applause, bows and salutes. Every summer the Los Franjirrojos boss is forced to wave goodbye to 10+ players and bring in a raft of new recruits, rebuilding the squad each year.

But nevertheless, the former Zaragoza centre-half finds a way to install his beliefs for attractive possession-based football across and Rayo rise from the rubble. In each of the last three top-flight campaigns Rayo have featured in the top-three for average possession and this term only Real Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla and Celta Vigo have fired in more shots-on-target.

Rayo are a real ‘all or nothing’ side in front of their home fans under Jemez (W28-D6-L29) and with that approach, goals tend to follow. Those fixtures have included 38/63 (60%) of games featuring three or more goals and 22/63 (35%) producing Over 3.5 Goals.

Opponents Athletic continue to blow hot and cold on the road. They lost 2-0 at a modest Granada side last weekend, their fifth defeat on the road this season. The Basque outfit have won just three of their 12 away games this term but have managed to net in eight.

Since the Spanish Super Club, Ernesto Valverde’s side have seen two goals or more in all bar one of their 11 road trips with six featuring at least three goals.

Les Leones were involved in a topsy-turvy Europa League clash at Bundesliga strugglers Augsburg on Thursday night and could be a little weary but even so, I’d count on the visitors joining the party with at least a goal in what should be an enjoyable encounter.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 Goals at 1.83

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @MarkOHaire.

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