Barcelona vs Rayo Vallecano Football Match Score 14 Aug 2022
Barcelona will be bidding to make the perfect start to their 2022-23 La Liga campaign when they welcome Rayo Vallecano to Camp Nou on Saturday night. The Catalan giants finished second in the table last season, 13 points behind the champions Real Madrid, while Rayo impressed on their return to Spain’s top flight from the Segunda Division, claiming 13th position. A disappointing 2021-22 season saw Barcelona fail to win a trophy, but the club will be expected to challenge for major silverware this term, especially considering their summer business, with a number of statement signings arriving despite the club’s ongoing financial problems.
Andreas Christensen, Franck Kessie, Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde have all arrived to boost the squad, while it is understood that Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso and Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva are still wanted, which would make it an even more extraordinary window for the club. It is now three seasons without a league trophy for the Catalan outfit, finishing second, third and second since last lifting the title in 2018-19, and they were 13 points behind the champions Real Madrid last season; the club were also eliminated in the group stage of the 2021-22 Champions League, which saw them play in the Europa League for the first time since 2003.
The first half of the 2021-22 campaign was turbulent for Barcelona, with the club struggling to deal with Lionel Messi’s departure, but there has been plenty of progression since Xavi’s arrival as head coach, and it would be fair to say that the supporters are feeling confident ahead of the new campaign. The Catalan side have been full of goals during pre-season, and they were excellent in their last game on August 7, recording a 6-0 win over Mexican outfit Pumas at Camp Nou to win the Joan Gamper Trophy.
Rayo will be tasked with making it an unhappy start for Barcelona, and the fact that they enjoyed such an impressive 2021-22 campaign should mean that confidence is high in the camp. Los Franjirrojos advanced through the 2020-21 Segunda Division playoffs to secure a return to the top flight for last season, and they claimed 12th in 2021-22, boasting a record of 11 wins, nine draws and 18 defeats, which brought them 42 points, four points more than 18th-place Granada.
Rayo have also had some strong results during pre-season, losing just one of their six matches, including a goalless draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford on July 31, while they drew 0-0 with Real Valladolid in their last friendly on August 5. Andoni Iraola’s side have managed to bring five new players to the club this summer, with Unai Lopez, Salvi Sanchez and Diego Lopez arriving on free transfers, while Sergio Camello and Florian Lejeune have joined on loan from Atletico Madrid and Alaves respectively.
Rayo will certainly be the underdogs this weekend, but they managed to do a league double over Barcelona last season, winning 1-0 at home in October 2021 before triumphing by the same scoreline at Camp Nou in April.
Barcelona welcome Rayo Vallecano to Camp Nou on the opening weekend of the new La Liga season on Saturday evening.
The Catalan behemoths have won 12 of their last 13 opening La Liga games. The only blemish on that streak was when they lost 1-0 to Athletic Club in 2019 thanks to Aritz Aduriz’s spectacular late winner.
Following a busy preseason and a wild, club-transforming transfer window that is still not over, Barcelona take the field for the first time this season for a game that matters when they welcome Rayo Vallecano to the Greatest Stadium On Earth, Brought To You By Spotify, for the opening match of the 2022-23 La Liga season.
Because this week was completely dominated by a billion stories regarding the (now mostly completed) registration of players, it’s easy to forget just how good the Blaugrana were in preseason. They were unbeaten in six games and won five of them, mostly in pretty dominant fashion with a breathtaking attack and a much more solid defensive structure compared to last season.
Xavi Hernández made specific requests regarding signings and the new players who got significant playing time looked very comfortable in the coach’s system, and Robert Lewandowski needed just four preseason games to erase any doubts about his ability to fit with his new team and lead the line very effectively.
Barça made great strides on and off the pitch since the end of last season, and expectations are sky high for this one. There is true hope in the fanbase and the players have spoken publicly about a great environment in the dressing room with a deep squad pulling in the same direction and interested in the same thing: winning games and lifting trophies.
This will be a season like no other with a World Cup right in the middle of it, and a busy schedule between now and November will truly test Barça’s depth. Every game will matter in a tight race for the league title. Real Madrid will never go away, and Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid remain quite the formidable force.
Dropping points at home is almost prohibited, and Camp Nou must be a fortress all season long. Rayo Vallecano had a wonderful season and retained all of their best players, and will definitely cause problems to a Barça side still trying to figure itself out with so many changes. This doesn’t promise to be easy, but a strong performance and victory will be an important statement of intent.