After five consecutive La Liga (LL) matches in which the home side on the day were triumphant, Cádiz will be hoping that pattern continues for one more week when they host Europe-chasing Rayo Vallecano in a matchup that historically has not been kind to the team occupying the visitors’ dressing rooms.
Cádiz’s current eight-game unbeaten home LL run (W3, D5), the third-longest of all clubs going into this round, was enough for them to end last weekend just three points behind 12th place despite occupying a relegation slot. Manager Sergio suffered a tenth personal loss from 11 games against Barcelona (D1) last weekend, but still expressed ”good feelings” about his team’s competitive effort for all but the five-minute first half period in which they conceded twice.
A pair of 1-1 draws against bottom-half sides Getafe (away) and Sevilla (home) has severely dented Vallecano’s ambitions to return to European football for the first time in 20 years, and they’ll be hoping to avoid a repeat of last season when they had 31 LL points and a top-half position after 22 rounds, only to fall away dramatically into a bottom-half finish.
Manager Andoni Iraola couldn’t help but look disappointed after failing to defeat Sevilla, but with his side boasting a six-game unbeaten away LL run (W3, D3) that includes taking points from Villarreal and Atlético Madrid, there’s no reason for him to doubt his team can win this and possibly move closer to the top four. A victory would also bring to an end a three-decade drought for visiting sides in this particular matchup, as the travelling team has not won any of the last 15 H2Hs in any competition (D8, L7).
Players to watch: Of Cádiz’s seven different goalscorers from their last five LL home games, Theo Bongonda is the only to open their account twice in that period. With three goal involvements (G2, A1) in his three LL H2Hs, Vallecano winger Isi Palazón tends to be a busy man in this matchup.
Hot stat: Vallecano’s last six LL matches have produced fewer than 2.5 total goals, as have seven of Cádiz’s last eight.