This time, Atletico head into this clash with the exact opposite form: four La Liga wins on the trot, with 2 goals to their name on every occasion.
Rayo Vallecano clearly frustrated Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui when they took a 1-1 draw from the La Liga title hopefuls last round, with Lopetegui blaming both a “very poor” pitch and a “prejudiced” VAR decision for a result that finally ended Vallecano’s six-game losing run in La Liga and gave them a vital point to keep them in relative safety as far as the relegation scrap is concerned. That result against Sevilla is the last favour they’ll want to fulfil for upcoming opponents fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, who crept closer to second place as a result. Vallecano manager Andoni Iraola has publicly expressed his pride in his team, one which could potentially end the season as the highest finishing of the three newly promoted clubs, in addition to a run to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey.
Having also defeated Barcelona at home earlier in the season, they have shown themselves capable of matching it with the best more than once, although to do so again Vallecano will have to end a five-game winless La Liga run here which saw them score only twice.
They missed their best opportunity in years to finally defeat Atletico earlier in 2022 when Diego Simeone’s men ended a four-game La Liga losing streak by winning January’s H2H 2-0 at home. This time, Atletico head into this clash with the exact opposite form: four La Liga wins on the trot, with 2 goals to their name on every occasion. With previous wobbles now behind them, Atlético’s push to consolidate a Champions League spot is heating up, and their recent dominance over city rivals Vallecano, which has been both persistent and consistent, could help them with that push. They’ve recorded six consecutive La Liga H2H victories since 2014/15, including ‘wins to nil’ in the five most recent meetings.
Vallecano striker Sergi Guardiola is their only player to have scored in two of their last eight La Liga home games. He opened the scoring and Vallecano won on both occasions. Meanwhile, Atletico striker Antoine Griezmann has scored in his last five La Liga starts against Rayo Vallecano. Atletico have scored 3 goals in just two of the last nine competitive H2Hs.