Barcelona haven’t exactly been foot-perfect in recent weeks, with the Catalan side losing the Clasico at the Nou Camp on 28 October. There was also a Champions League defeat away to Shakhtar and these results will certainly provide confidence to a Rayo Vallecano side who have demonstrated that they are tough to beat in recent weeks.

Francisco has replaced Andoni Iraola after the latter’s departure to Bournemouth, with the team having steadied the ship since that early season 7-0 mauling at home to Atletico Madrid. A nine-game unbeaten run was only recently broken by an in-form Girona side despite Rayo having more shots on target in what was an entertaining clash.

Even so, Barca are strong favourites to land a victory and Xavi’s side are unbeaten on the road this term. There have been three wins and three draws so far, with eleven goals scored in those six encounters. The teams who have held the Catalan side to draws on the road have been Getafe, Mallorca and Granada, with the latter two games being 2-2 draws.

Robert Lewandowski remains a sharp shooter as was demonstrated when bagging a recent brace against Alaves, with the Pole now having ten goals for the season. However, there’s a feeling that this isn’t a vintage Barcelona side and perhaps there could be some merit in backing the home side on the handicap market.


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