Spain

Real Madrid v Rayo Vallecano

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Ronaldo: On target in midweek

Ronaldo: On target in midweek

Defending La Liga champions Real Madrid welcome high-flying Rayo Vallecano to the Bernebeu on Sunday hoping to cut into Barcelona's lead at the top.

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Los Blancos currently sit in third place on 46 points, a mammoth 16 points adrift of bitter rivals Barcelona with hopes of retaining their La Liga title all but over for Jose Mourinho and his team.

Despite this, the Portuguese will urge his side to put in a good performance after they were held 1-1 at home by Manchester United in their last 16 UEFA Champions League first-leg.

Mourinho will have a relatively full strength side to choose from, but is still without the talismanic Iker Casillas in goal who has a broken hand, as well as Marcelo who is not yet match fit after recovering from a broken foot.

Meanwhile, Rayo Vallecano have won six out of their last eight games in La Liga, a run which has seen them climb as high as sixth in the league. They currently occupy the second Europa League place.

Franjirrojos have not enjoyed much success in this fixture in the past, losing nine out of their last 10 games against Los Blancos including a 2-0 loss at home earlier in the season.

Paco Jemez will be without the defensive duo of Rodri and Labaka for the short trip across the capital, but otherwise will have a full strength side.

Posted: 15/02/13 15:37

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