Liga - Rayo Vallecano v Real Betis: LIVE
Follow LIVE text coverage of the Liga match between Rayo Vallecano and Real Betis at Vallecas.
Rayo have lost captain Michel to a dislocated shoulder which could keep him out for as much as five weeks. Mikel Labaka is also sidelined with a hamstring injury while promising youngster Alhassane Bangoura, known as Lass, is suspended.
Betis welcome former Rayo defender Antonio Amaya back to the matchday squad but he is expected to be on the bench having not made an appearance since December due to a knee injury. Teenager Alvaro Vadillo is also fit again but will recuperate with the B team for now.
Jose Ramon Sandoval (Rayo Vallecano): "Betis are very mobile at the back. In general they are very compact, are doing well and it is reflected in the table that they are making an effort."
Pepe Mel (Real Betis): "We do not look at the table, we know it by heart. This month is vital to us. We have nine points to play for in eight days and the players know that these three games are vital. We would be bad professionals if we did not know the importance of the three games to come."
Rayo have only won one of their seven top-flight matches at home to Betis (D2 L4).
Only Real Zaragoza (12) have picked up fewer points at home in the league this season than Rayo (16).
Rayo have only had as many points (34) after 26 matches in Primera on three previous occasions in Primera (78/79, 99/00, 00/01, always assuming 3pts/win).
Only Athletic (92.9%) have scored a higher proportion of their goals thanks to Spanish players in Primera this season than Betis (77.4%) and Rayo (75.7%).
The verdiblancos have won all four away matches in which they have opened the scoring on the road in the league this season.
Real Betis and Rayo have used the most different players in the league this season (30).
Only Barcelona (21) have hit the woodwork more often in LigaBBVA this season than Real Betis (18).
Pepe Mel’s side have picked up nine points thanks to goals scored in the last five minutes of league games this season, four more than any other side.
Michu has bagged eight goals in his last 10 league games, having scored five in the first 15 games of this campaign.
Tamudo is averaging more goals per game in the league this season (0.32) than any of his previous three campaigns.
Rayo Vallecano (13/10), Real Betis (5/2), Draw (12/5)