La Liga

Rayo Vallecano vs Real Madrid: TV channel, live stream, team news & prediction

Max Parsons
Real Madrid defeated Deportivo Alaves last time out
Real Madrid defeated Deportivo Alaves last time out / Anadolu Agency/GettyImages

Real Madrid will aim to at least temporarily extend their six-point lead at La Liga's summit on Saturday evening as they make the very short trip to Rayo Vallecano.

Los Blancos are in the middle of a rocky patch, having won two, drawn two and lost two in their previous six across all competitions.

Carlo Ancelotti and his players will hope that they can regain consistency and rampage onto another winning streak after having bounced back from their 1-0 defeat at Paris Saint-Germain to see off Deportivo Alaves in a comfortable 3-0 victory last week.

They will have to do so against one of La Liga's surprise packages this term, though. Rayo Vallecano have displayed their quality for large parts of the season and are still in with a shout of European qualification, although will have to turn a very tough period of form around - they go into the weekend with four consecutive defeats in all competitions behind them.

Here's 90min's preview of this one.

How to watch Rayo Vallecano vs Real Madrid on TV

When is kick off? Saturday 26 February, 17:30 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Estadio de Vallecas, Madrid
What TV channel is it on? Premier Sports 1, Premier Sports 2, LaLigaTV (UK), ESPN+ (US)
Highlights? La Liga Santander YouTube channel
Referee? Isidro Diaz de Mera Escuderos

Rayo Vallecano team news

Andoni Iraola’s squad is in good shape heading into this derby, with Martin Merquelanz representing the only certain absentee for the hosts.

With current form in mind, however, the hosts may be in line for some chopping and changing with former Manchester United forwards Bebe and Radamel Falcao - the latter of whom is Rayo's leading scorer but hasn't struck in La Liga since his side's 2-1 defeat to Real Madrid in early November - pushing for returns to the starting XI.

Real Madrid team news

Ancelotti also has a healthy squad to pick from, with no immediate concerns for the visitors.

The Italian is expected to continue with a similar lineup as the one that secured victory last time out, although has options - notably Toni Kroos, who could come back into the side for Federico Valverde after having been rested for that win over Alaves.

Rayo Vallecano vs Real Madrid prediction

It would be surprising to not get thrills in this fixture on Saturday evening - it's what it historically has delivered.

Although neither team have been particularly inspiring in recent weeks, it's only a matter of time before Real Madrid leave their rough patch behind them and, with a convincing 3-0 victory in their last outing to build on, you'd expect Ancelotti's men to get the job done while turning on the style here.

Prediction: Rayo Vallecano 1-3 Real Madrid