Atlético Madrid v Rayo Vallecano
This is the first midweek round of the 2022/23 LaLiga season and Atlético Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano is the prime time game as Matchday 10 gets underway on Tuesday. Although Atleti have had a hot and cold start to the season, they’re starting to look hot now that Antoine Griezmann’s contractual issues have been completely resolved, meaning he can now start games without any issues. That’s a huge boost since the Frenchman has been Atlético Madrid’s best player this season and was the standout man once again as he scored the only goal of the game during Saturday night’s hard-fought 1-0 win in Bilbao.
Atlético Madrid have improved as a whole with Griezmann’s presence, and also with the return from injury of Stefan Savić and José María Giménez into an old school 4-4-2 formation. They, along with Reinildo, have made the Atleti defence much more solid since the September international break, with just one goal conceded in the past three league games and with that coming via a deflection. Jan Oblak is an injury doubt to start in this midweek game, but this Atleti defence looks capable of coping without him.
Rayo, meanwhile, have been just as unpredictable as Atlético to start 2022/23, but have really struggled on the road in recent weeks, losing three road games in a row. They will always be competitive, but this visit to Atleti will be a tough one as Diego Simeone’s Griezmann-led side finally look to have found their feet.
Cádiz v Real Betis
Cádiz have managed to go four matches unbeaten, but their performances have still been really poor. They defeated Real Valladolid with a smash-and-grab win, before drawing with Villarreal, Espanyol and Girona, but only actually outplayed any of those opponents for one half – the first vs Espanyol. The Yellows have still lost the xG count in every one of their nine matches so far this season, but their opponents haven’t fully capitalised in recent weeks.
Real Betis should take advantage of this poor Cádiz team, though. They’ve won six out of nine LaLiga matches so far this season, with the three that they didn’t win being away at Real Madrid and the matches against Celta Vigo and Real Valladolid when they suffered a first-half red card on each occasion.
The fact that this is a midweek round also goes in Real Betis’ favour, as Manuel Pellegrini has a deep squad that was built for a Europa League run. This team doesn’t lose much, if any, performance when rotations are made, as exemplified by the way youngster Juan Cruz and veteran Joaquín lifted the team when coming off the bench in their Sunday night 3-1 win over Almería. Cádiz, on the other hand, will be playing in midweek for the first time this season and don’t appear to have much depth on the roster.
Real Sociedad v Real Mallorca
It’s been 55 years since Real Sociedad have been on such a fine run of form and they could make history with a club record eight consecutive wins should they see off Mallorca on Wednesday evening. And that seems likely.
Real Sociedad are also well accustomed to the demands of midweek action given their European campaign which has seen them secure qualification to the knockouts of the Europa League already, and their rotations in attack have kept them fresh while scoring goals, with 13 goals in their last five matches.
Mallorca have been hard to beat this season, with five points from a possible 12 on the road, but they have been beaten by the stronger teams they have faced. From last season’s top half, Real Betis, Sevilla, Real Madrid and Barcelona have all secured victory, and only Athletic Club have failed to do so by drawing a blank with a 0-0 draw in the opening game of the season.
This game will also give Real Sociedad an opportunity to extend their winning run against Mallorca at home, which currently stands with nine consecutive victories against the team from the Balearics, dating all the way back to 2002. La Real’s home form this season may seem average, but don’t be deceived as they have already welcomed two of the current top three to the Reale Arena and have still averaged 1.75 points per game.
Elche v Real Madrid
You’d have to go all the way back to 1978 to find the last time that Elche beat Real Madrid and it’s with good reason that the league leaders are the strong favourites to beat LaLiga’s bottom team on Wednesday night.
Fresh from El Clásico victory on Sunday afternoon, Carlo Ancelotti is almost certain to make changes to his Real Madrid team, but that may not be a bad thing. With Champions League qualification secured, their attention will turn to the weekend fixture against Sevilla, which may give opportunities to players like Eduardo Camavinga or Rodrygo Goes, both of whom impressed off the bench against Barcelona.
Real Madrid would have won six games already this season with a -1 handicap and will be looking to build momentum to continue to do that. Clean sheets have been hard to come by with Thibaut Courtois out injured, but the team have had no problem scoring and have averaged 2.33 goals per game this season.
At Elche, Jorge Almirón has brought changes since his appointment under a week ago. The 2-2 draw with Valencia was impressive, but they did concede 3.04 xG, the fifth time in nine games that their xG conceded has exceeded three. It’s hard to imagine Real Madrid forgiving many of those chances.
Written by an Andy verified content writer
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