Marco Asensio’s decisive goal against Deportivo Alaves last weekend was huge for Real Madrid. It fired Los Blancos into a 63rd minute lead of a game they ended up winning 3-0, at a time when they really needed a strong performance.
They need another one this evening, note Marca, when they travel the short distance to Vallecas to lock horns with Rayo Vallecano. And Asensio will be huge once again, expected to start as one third of Carlo Ancelotti’s attacking trident alongside Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior.
Asensio is typically the kind of player that thrives at the Santiago Bernabeu rather than on the road. He’s scored 46 goals for the club and just 18 have come away from home. Vallecas is notorious for its raucous atmosphere and its claustrophobic feel. It’s going to be a challenge for the forward to deliver.
And deliver he must. Rayo are going through their worst patch of form since earning promotion to La Liga from Segunda last season and Madrid will be keen to secure three points to stretch their lead at the top of the table over Sevilla to nine.