MX23RW : Friday, January 15 12:43:34| >> :120:84528:84528:
Jan 16, 2021 at 11am UK at Estadio de Vallecas
Rayo VallecanoRayo Vallecano

Preview: Rayo Vallecano vs. Elche - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Copa del Rey clash between Rayo Vallecano and Elche, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Jorge Almiron's embattled Elche side will travel to the capital this weekend for their Copa del Rey clash against second division Rayo Vallecano at the Estadio de Vallecas.

While this might look like a bit of a mismatch on paper, Rayo are no strangers to La Liga football and are currently fifth in the Segunda Division. There is no doubt that they will be looking to cause a major upset against Los Franjiverdes.

Match preview

Elche's Fidel celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates against Real Madrid on December 30, 2020© Reuters

In typical Elche fashion, the team's cup run so far has not exactly been smooth sailing. The two fixtures they have won have been tense affairs where Almiron's men have flirted with elimination.

Against lowly Club Deportivo Bunol in the first round, Dani Calvo, in a moment of madness, accidentally put the ball into his own net, awarding Bunol an early lead. Fortunately for Almiron, his side left it late but eventually scored two late goals.

In the second round, Elche only narrowly scraped past La Nucia, thanks to a second-half strike from Lucas Boye.

Against Rayo, Los Franjiverdes face a far tougher opposition that will push Almiron's men hard and take advantage of any mistakes.

Elche manager Jorge Almiron pictured while in charge of San Lorenzo in May 2019© Reuters

Ever since their relegation from La Liga back in 2019, Rayo have been playing well in the second division and promotion is still very much on the table for Andoni Iraola's side.

Much like Elche, Rayo have blown hot and cold in their cup run so far. Against CD Teruel in the first round, the Madrid-based outfit endured a trying contest that ended 3-2 in extra time.

Against Haro Deportivo in the second round, Los Vallecanos put on a much more orthodox display, beating the minnows 3-1 in La Rioja.

If there is one thing to be sure of in preparation for this tie, it is that both sides are capable of upping the ante when the going gets tough, so expect a marathon and not a sprint.

Rayo Vallecano Copa del Rey form: WW
Rayo Vallecano form (all competitions): DWWWWW

Elche Copa del Rey form: WW
Elche form (all competitions): LDDLWL

Team News

Barcelona's Miralem Pjanic in action with Elche's Cesar during a pre-season friendly on September 19, 2020© Reuters

Iraola does not have any fresh injury concerns to worry about and is likely to field a strong team against Los Franjiverdes.

Luis Advincula and Emiliano Velazquez are both suspended in the league but are eligible to feature in this tie.

Thirty-five-year-old keeper Alberto Garcia is out with an injury.

Although things are not going well for Elche in any regard, Almiron at least does not have many absentees at the moment.

Tete Morente is unlikely to feature due to injury, while Boye will also be rested after coming off with a knock against Getafe.

Rayo Vallecano possible starting lineup:
Zidane; Advincula, Velazquez, Marugan, F Garcia; Palazon, Trejo, Luengo, A Garcia; Antonin, Jose Pozo

Elche possible starting lineup:
Badia; Barragan, Gonzalo, Gonzalez, Josema; Josan Fernandez, Mfulu, Guti, Fidel; Rigoni, Nino

SM words green background

We say: Rayo Vallecano 1-0 Elche

All of Elche's recent victories have come in the Copa del Rey, but it will be difficult for Almiron's side to keep their cup run going considering the form they are currently in. We think Rayo have what it takes to heap the pressure on Almiron's side.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


Who will win Saturday's Copa del Rey clash between Rayo Vallecano and Elche?

Rayo Vallecano
Rayo Vallecano
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Neymar for Barcelona on December 11, 2014
Read Next:
Iraola criticises Neymar
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
1Atletico MadridAtletico1613213162541
2Real Madrid18114330151537
5Real Sociedad1986529161330
8Celta Vigo186572228-623
10Real Betis187292231-923
12Athletic Bilbao186392122-121
17Real Valladolid184681625-918

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!