One of the most intriguing fixtures in La Liga Game Week 22 will be between two lesser known sides from the Spanish capital – Rayo Vallecano and Leganes.
The sides from South Madrid face each other on Monday night, in what could be a decisive battle in the fight to avoid relegation.
The two sides are just 17km apart, however local rivalry will not be on the only thing on the line at the Campo de Futbol de Vallecas, with the season edging towards its final third.
The form book is with the hosts, as manger Michel’s tactical tweaks in January have dragged them out the drop zone and into their best form of the 2018-19 season.
Rayo are unbeaten in their last five games, with four wins and a draw, amassing an impressive 13 points from a possible 15, to bring them back to life when they look set for a return to the second tier at the end of 2018.
Leganes head to Vallecas with just one league win in their last seven games, dropping from 13th to 16th in the table in the process, just as Rayo are on the rise.
However they can take confidence from their record against Rayo so far this season, with a 1-0 home win in La Liga back in October, as well as eliminating their neighbours from the Copa del Rey, with a 3-2 win over two legs – including a clinching 1-0 victory away from home.
It will be tight, with so much at stake, as Rayo look to avoid an immediate return to the Segunda and Leganes, who have enjoyed a three season stay in La Liga, looking to remain.
Mauricio Pellegrino’s have proved to be masters off avoiding the drop, finishing 17th in the last two seasons, and just doing enough to survive.
The visitors will be boosted by the return to form of striker Youssef En-Nesyri, who scored twice against Rayo in the cup, and has three goals in his last three league appearances. Also Martin Braithwaite, signed from Middlesbrough earlier in January, has adapted quickly, with two goals in his first three appearances.
However Rayo can call on Raul de Tomas, who has spearheaded their recent charge with five goals in his last five La Liga games ahead of this crunch meeting.
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