While this might look like a bit of a mismatch on paper, Rayo are no strangers to La Liga football and are currently fifth in the Segunda Division. There is no doubt that they will be looking to cause a major upset against Los Franjiverdes.
In typical Elche fashion, the team's cup run so far has not exactly been smooth sailing. The two fixtures they have won have been tense affairs where Almiron's men have flirted with elimination.
Against lowly Club Deportivo Bunol in the first round, Dani Calvo, in a moment of madness, accidentally put the ball into his own net, awarding Bunol an early lead. Fortunately for Almiron, his side left it late but eventually scored two late goals.
In the second round, Elche only narrowly scraped past La Nucia, thanks to a second-half strike from Lucas Boye.
Against Rayo, Los Franjiverdes face a far tougher opposition that will push Almiron's men hard and take advantage of any mistakes.
Ever since their relegation from La Liga back in 2019, Rayo have been playing well in the second division and promotion is still very much on the table for Andoni Iraola's side.
Much like Elche, Rayo have blown hot and cold in their cup run so far. Against CD Teruel in the first round, the Madrid-based outfit endured a trying contest that ended 3-2 in extra time.
Against Haro Deportivo in the second round, Los Vallecanos put on a much more orthodox display, beating the minnows 3-1 in La Rioja.
If there is one thing to be sure of in preparation for this tie, it is that both sides are capable of upping the ante when the going gets tough, so expect a marathon and not a sprint.
Rayo Vallecano Copa del Rey form: WW
Rayo Vallecano form (all competitions): DWWWWW
Elche Copa del Rey form: WW
Elche form (all competitions): LDDLWL
Iraola does not have any fresh injury concerns to worry about and is likely to field a strong team against Los Franjiverdes.
Thirty-five-year-old keeper Alberto Garcia is out with an injury.
Although things are not going well for Elche in any regard, Almiron at least does not have many absentees at the moment.
Tete Morente is unlikely to feature due to injury, while Boye will also be rested after coming off with a knock against Getafe.
Rayo Vallecano possible starting lineup:
Zidane; Advincula, Velazquez, Marugan, F Garcia; Palazon, Trejo, Luengo, A Garcia; Antonin, Jose Pozo
Elche possible starting lineup:
Badia; Barragan, Gonzalo, Gonzalez, Josema; Josan Fernandez, Mfulu, Guti, Fidel; Rigoni, Nino
We say: Rayo Vallecano 1-0 Elche
All of Elche's recent victories have come in the Copa del Rey, but it will be difficult for Almiron's side to keep their cup run going considering the form they are currently in. We think Rayo have what it takes to heap the pressure on Almiron's side.
Top betting tip
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