Since their return to the top flight, FC Barcelona have travelled to Vallecas three times, scoring 16 goals in the process. That's three heavy wins and three clean sheets in three attempts -- what odds of a repeat tonight as Luis Enrique's side look to bounce-back from their midweek defeat against Paris Saint-Germain. We have all the tools required to register another comfortable win: Lionel Messi is in form, Neymar is averaging a goal per game and the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Xavi and Andres Iniesta are all in good form as well.
In short, it could be a long night for Paco Jemez and his side -- for all the plaudits Paco receives for the way he sets up his side, he simply doesn't alter from that philosophy, even against Barça and it doesn't work. Still, I can't complain, it's admirable that he takes such a stance -- and who knows? Maybe this year could be his year. The squad is stronger, both in terms of depth and technical ability. The return of Leo Baptistao for example was a stroke of genius -- he's been on fire, as has Alberto Bueno.
They have pace, they have skill -- they have all the attributes required to challenge the Blaugrana tonight -- but their defense may well let them down. Will the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar run riot once again, enabling Barcelona to regain their momentum headed into the international break? Predict the score of tonight's match between FC Barcelona and Rayo Vallecano by commenting with your prediction below. Best of luck!