La Liga Preview: Rayo Vallecano vs. Atletico Madrid

Updated: August 18, 2014
Arda Turan, Koke, Diego Godin

Match Date: 25 August 2014 (local time)

Venue: Campo de Futbol de Vallecas


Atletico Madrid has a huge task ahead of them this season. The club is off to defend its title against strong contenders such as Barcelona and Real Madrid. Indeed, the squad is determined, but without its previous star striker, Diego Costa, many are expecting the incumbent champ to surrender its crown.


The contenders

Rayo Vallecano

Rayo Vallecano will be needing a huge amount of support from its fans as they open the season with a clash against Atletico Madrid. The said match will not be easy for the Los Vallecanos considering the huge drop that it experienced last season.


From the 8th spot during the 2012/2013 tournament, the club has to be content on the 12th spot. Although it is four (4) notches lower than before, it is nonetheless more acceptable than lingering in the Second Division.


Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid was the ultimately dark horse last season. Winning the Copa del Rey during the 2012/2013 tournament gave a boost to the club’s confidence, which resulted to snatching the title last season and featuring in the Champions League.


But along with Atletico’s rise was the domination of striker Diego Costa. Costa became a profitable commodity after his spectacular exploits in Atletico. It is therefore not surprising to see a number of high-profiled clubs courting the talismanic forward. At the end of the day, Atletico can no longer afford to keep Costa when the latter decided to play for Chelsea.
Although the club remains strong, still, Cholo and the rest of his men have to deal with the huge void that Costa’s departure made.


Possible head turners

Rayo has successfully secured the signature of Mexican international Javier Aquino. Considered as one of El-Tri’s most promising members, Aquino is expected to add more attacking power to the host.


Meanwhile, Atletico has permanently snatched a deal with former Bayern Munchen’s star striker, Mario Mandzukic. Mandzukic’s vast experience in international competitions as well as his scoring proficiency made him the perfect replacement for Costa. Many are waiting what this Croatin star can do to help the squad rebuild.


What the odds say

Valued at 1.53, Atletico is the ultimate favorite of sports betting sites.


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