Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Bilbao Prediction: Copa del Rey champs to show class in Madrid

 | Friday 24th May 2024, 10:20am

Friday 24th May 2024, 10:20am

la liga trophy spain

Rayo Vallecano will look to end a testing season on a high when they host Athletic Bilbao at Campo de Futbol de Vallecas in Madrid on Saturday (KO, 17:30). Los Franjirrojos only secured their La Liga status for another year last week when they beat already-relegated Granada, and it was their home form which ultimately helped them to survive.

Their visitors this weekend, Athletic, clinched fifth spot and Europa League football next term with a 2-0 win over Sevilla last Sunday and head into this contest in high spirits. Read my Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Bilbao prediction below, where you can also find out all the latest team news and match odds.

Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Bilbao Betting Tips

  • Athletic Bilbao to win & both teams to score @ 16/5
  • Highest scoring half - second half @ 1/1

Rayo's final away day last Sunday saw them beaten 3-0 by Barcelona, though they did muster 15 shots at the home of the Spanish giants.

Head coach Inigo Perez will be glad to return to home comforts, as Rayo have lost just once in their last seven games at Campo de Futbol de Vallecas, beating Granada, Osasuna and Real Betis along the way.

Athletic Club are another side who have found things much easier at home and, in fact, they have lost just one game at San Mames all season - 1-0 to Real Madrid on the opening day of the 2023/24 La Liga campaign.

Ernesto Valverde's men have lost three of their last four away from Bilbao, however, and have collected 19 fewer points on their travels than at home.

The first meeting between these sides this season ended in a 4-0 victory for Athletic, who struck through Gorka Guruzeta and the Williams (Inaki and Nico) brothers, with the other an Alfonso Espino own goal.

Team News

Oscar Trejo was sent off for a high boot in Rayo's recent win over Granada and will serve the second of a three-game suspension on Saturday, while Abdul Mumin and Oscar Valentin are both banned after an accumulation of yellow cards.

Diego Mendez continues to recover from injury and will miss out again for the hosts.

Meanwhile, Athletic are still without injured pair Oihan Sancet and Guruzeta.

Ander Herrera, Alex Berenguer and Asier Villalibre are among those pushing for starts after appearing off the bench against Sevilla.

Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Bilbao Odds

*Please click on the link above to be taken to the main Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Bilbao page on betfred.com (or app) for all the live betting prices on this match.

Rayo are 9/5 to triumph on Saturday, giving them an implied win probability of 35.7%, while the visitors can be backed at 5/4, or a 44.4% chance. The draw, meanwhile, is available at 23/10.

Both teams to score is 8/13, over 2.5 goals is 4/5, and Inaki Williams is 12/5 to score anytime.

Athletic Bilbao to win & both teams to score @ 16/5

Saturday's contest is a difficult one to predict, given neither side is playing for very much. Athletic cannot move up or down, while Rayo can only climb two places at best.

Rayo's recent home record points us in their direction when looking at the match result market, but it's important to note that their three wins there in the last two months have been with the club staring at a potential relegation, and now that their task has been achieved, they might well find that their motivation levels have lowered somewhat.

As such, I'm backing the quality of the Athletic squad to come through here and end what has been a successful season on a high.

The Copa del Rey winners have strength in depth in the forward areas, with the Williams brothers just two of several attackers looking to add to their tally before the campaign concludes.

Three defeats in four on the road doesn't look great, but two of those losses came at Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.

It was only a few weeks ago that Rayo were beaten at home by bottom club Almeria, and they were thrashed 4-0 by Athletic in December's reverse fixture.

This time, I do expect Rayo to get on the scoresheet, as they have done in six of their last eight games at home, but I don't think it will be enough to earn even a point.

Athletic Bilbao to beat Rayo Vallecano & both teams to score at 16-5

Highest scoring half - second half @ 1/1

There have been 34 goals scored in the first half of Rayo's La Liga games this season, and 42 in their second halves.

Athletic, meanwhile, have been involved in 45 first-half strikes, and 52 in the second.

The second half has been the highest scoring half in four of Rayo's last six matches, and two of Athletic's last three.

With plenty of changes expected in the second 45 minutes as these teams wind down for the season and perhaps hand opportunities to peripheral or younger players, the game could open up and make for an entertaining contest, and that could lead to goals in what is, ultimately, a meaningless match for both.

Highest scoring half - second half in Rayo Vallecano vs Athletic Bilbao at 1-1

Acca Flex: Place a pre-match 5+ leg Football accumulator and get a CASH bonus up to 50% if all of your selections win or your money back as CASH if one leg lets you down.

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

Share Article

(Visited 55 times, 1 visits today)