With La Liga making its return this weekend, we take a look at some of the teams and assess their chances this season.
Next, we'll be looking to see whether Rayo Vallecano can build on a relatively successful season.
A 12th place finish preceded by an 8th place the season before has given Vallecano fans hope that they are La Liga mainstays, since their promotion in 2014. They did, however, concede the most goals in the league, and after spending 20 weeks in the relegation zone, their season could’ve been different.
In: Johan Mojica, Alex Moreno, Lica (loan), Abdoulaye (loan), Alejandro Pozuelo, Jorge Morcillo, Jozabed Sanchez, Manucho, Antonio Amaya, Derek Boateng, Quini, Diego Aguirre, Gael Kakuta (loan), Leo Baptistao (loan), Jonathan Pereira (loan), Javier Aquino (loan), Cristian Alvarez (loan)
Out: Alberto Perea, Joaquin Larrivey, Adrian Gonzalez, Ruben, Razvan Rat, Alejandro Galvez, Jose Carlos, Sebastian Fernandez, Derek Boateng, Anaitz Arbilla, Johan Mojica, Nery Castillo.
Despite the length of the list above, Rayo have only spent a little over £400,000. They have been frugal with their recruitment, with a number of free transfers and loan signings. The only player they splashed the cash on was full back Mojica, who signed from Cali in Colombia and subsequently loaned out to Real Valladolid.
They employed the same recruitment tactics last season to great effect. But they lost loan stars Iago Falque, Saul Niguez and Ruben Rochina, and needed to replacements
Key player: Davis Cobeno
With Rayo shipping goals left, right and centre, the veteran stopper will be the last line of defence for Rayo. Reducing the amount of goals they ship is a sure-fire way to push them up the table.
One to Watch: Leo Baptistao
The Brazilian hasn’t always been given his chance at Atletico but is always welcome at Vallecano after starting his career with the club. He went on loan to the club a season ago and has joined on loan for a second time. He put in a number of good performances last time he played for Rayo and may do so again having matured.
Rayo Vallecano 2 – 1 Granada II
Cartagena 1 – 3 Rayo Vallecano
Real Murcia 3 – 1 Rayo Vallecano
Leganés 2 – 2 Rayo Vallecano
Cesena 1 – 1 Rayo Vallecano
Real Valladolid 1 – 2 Rayo Vallecano
How will they do this season?
Rayo have been impressive since their return to La Liga. And last season’s 12th place finish could’ve been higher had they not lost their last three matches. As long as their new signings gel, there’s no reason why they can’t repeat or even better last season’s exploits.
But they need to sort out their leaky defence if they are to have a chance.
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