Villarreal, fifth-placed in LaLiga Santander, receives this Monday at the Estadio de la Cerámica (9:00 p.m.), in the last game of the nineteenth day of LaLiga Santander, a Rayo Vallecano who wants to leave behind his irregularity and go one step further in their aspirations.

Quique Setién’s men, who have 31 points after five league games without losing -four wins and a draw-, hope to extend a great streak that was only marred by the cup elimination at the hands of Real Madrid (2-3), a duel in which they did not know how to defend their 2-0 income at halftime.

Now, after beating Girona (1-0) last week, they will repeat at the Castellón coliseum in search of another victory that will bring them closer to the ‘Champions’ positions. Giovani Lo Celso, with a complete rupture of the biceps femoris tendon, will miss a match for which Nicolas Jackson and Alfonso Pedraza are doubtful due to discomfort.

Opposite, Rayo (26), five units from the continental zone, needs to put an end to an irregular series of results that culminated last day with a defeat against Real Sociedad in Vallecas (0-2). Since the start of the year, Andoni Iraola’s men have conceded three defeats -including the one in the Copa del Rey against Sporting de Gijón- and they have only prevailed in one game, against Real Valladolid (0-1).

The Basque coach will have to deal with the loss of Óscar Valentín and with the doubt of Raúl de Tomás, with discomfort in his patellar tendon, but in exchange he will have Isi Palazón available after recovering from some thigh problems.


Villarreal – Rayo Vallecano. Polished Santana (C. Las Palmas) 21.00.