Rayo Vallecano v Levante – Estadio de Vallecas at 17:30 GMT live at Eleven Sports
Rayo Vallecano concluded 2017/18 as Segunda champions, earning a place back in Spain’s top-flight following relegation two terms earlier. Head coach Michel led the revolution in his first senior management role for the Madrid minnows and his next assignment was clear: keep the club in La Liga.
Such a task is of course easier said than done and Los Franjirrojos already find themselves five points adrift of survival having suffered 10 defeats in their opening 16 matches. However, exclude top-half teams and Rayo can boast a W2-D4-L2 return, something they’ll be keen to enhance going forward.
La Liga Matchday 17 fútbol: Girona v Getafe.
At their Vallecas base, Rayo are unbeaten when welcoming bottom-half dwellers (W1-D3-L0) and Michel will know, turning stalemates into a couple of narrow wins could make all the difference when May rolls around. Rayo’s early season performance data suggests they’re not a million miles away from doing so.
Rayo looking for positive results
Los Franjirrojos actually rank 14th in La Liga for shots in the box ratio (47%) and 13th (47%) when viewing their Expected Goals ratio. In both instances, Rayo’s attacking return dwarfs that of their struggling rivals, with Michel’s men too often being let down by slapstick defending and elementary errors.
The capital club recorded only six clean sheets in 21 at Vallecas during their title-winning campaign and that vulnerable backline is again proving to be the hosts’ Achilles heel. Rayo have recorded just two shutouts since promotion and are shipping an average of 1.94 goals per-game.
Considering Michel’s mantra for attacking football, supporting a goals-based selection is always preferred when viewing Rayo’s matches. And Sunday evening’s fixture should fit perfectly into that category with visitors Levante renowned for their forward-thinking style under Paco Lopez.
Levante have only twice failed to score this season and have actually notched at least twice in nine of their 16 outings. In fact, in Paco Lopez’s 27 games as boss, Los Granotas have notched twice or more on 16 (57%) occasions with the likes of Roger Marti, Emmanuel Boateng and Jose Luis Morales excelling.
That swashbuckling attacking approach has caused numerous problems to opposition outfits, although Levante – like Rayo – suffer from a sieve-like defence. The visitors have leaked two goals or more in half of their 16 encounters this season and only their hosts have given up a large xG from open play figure on average.
Put the two teams’ styles, ideals and stats together and this looks like a great chance to support Over 2.5 Goals at a kind 1.68 on Sunday night. It’s a selection that’s proven profitable in 11/16 (69%) of the duos combined home/away matches with an average of 3.44 goals per-game seen in those contests.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.680
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.
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