Madrid are more than good enough to beat Rayo, but that's been the case in several games this season in which Madrid has drawn or lost. Rayo badly want points to keep hold on their European spot, but getting them in the Bernabéu is never easy.
Here we are again with Real Madrid, a team that's good enough to beat anyone on any day, but can also find ways to completely underperform in the most random moments. Every week we know that Madrid could role to a multi-goal win but there's that little bit of doubt in the back of our minds that says, but they could not show up and lose.
So which Madrid team will we see this week, fresh off a hard fought draw against Manchester United? With five players either injured or suspended, Mourinho might be a little thin on options but there are still good options. In all likliehood it will come down to whether or not this Madrid team is all in mentally.
Rayo will be hoping for the more lackadaisical version of Madrid as they attempt to hold on to a European spot. Rayo have one six out of their last eight league matches but that's counterbalanced by nine straight defeats against Los Blancos. They've also not won at the Bernabéu since 1996. At this point a draw was bould a big deal, a win would be not only huge but somewhat historic.
Rayo will be without head coach Paco Jemez who is serving the first of a two-match touchline ban.
Real Madrid injuries and suspensions
Rayo Vallecano injuries and suspensions
Out: Mikel Labaka (ankle), Sergio García (thigh). In Doubt: Leo Baptistao (ankle).
Lots of missing faces for Mourinho. The trio of Arbeloa, Modric and Higuain are all serving red card suspensions, while Xabi Alonso is suffering from a groin injury. Iker Casillas remains out with a broken hand. Rayo's Labaka and Garcia are long term issues, but Baptistao should be available despite spraining his ankle early in the week.
Match Date/Time: 9 p.m. local, 3:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain
TV: beIN SPORT, beIN Sport en Español (U.S.), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.)