Madrid-based football journalist and reporter for Press Association, Richard Martin, tells the Official Site why he expects an exciting match this Tuesday...
When Rayo Vallecano rock up at Meadow Lane, there is one thing Magpies fans can be sure of, they will not have travelled the distance from Madrid to Nottingham to defend.
The team’s swashbuckling mentality made them one of the most exciting teams to watch in La Liga last season, leading them to finish eighth in the table, despite having the smallest wage bill in the league.
Their adventure may have cost them dear at times, they had their third leakiest defence in the league, and were on the wrong end of some large scorelines, at the hands of Barcelona, Valencia, and more worryingly, Real Valladolid.
But coach Paco Jemez is happy to run the risk of conceding goals in order to score them. After a 5-0 thumping by Barcelona, he remarked in a press conference: “It doesn’t matter if you lose by two goals or five goals, we had to take risks.”
Before the same match, he said his “face would fall off with shame” if his team played defensively against Messi and co.
Jemez has built a reputation on taking teams with thin resources far, while playing attractive football in the process. In his first year in the top flight, he took a Rayo side shackled by the financial limits of being in administration to achieve their highest ever points total in La Liga.
Jemez has summed up his attitude as follows: “A budget helps but it is not everything. Less able teams, with enough ambition and bravery, can achieve great things.”
Unfortunately, having a small budget has its downsides. In the past three years 50 players have left the club. Last year Michu left for Swansea, and the cream of the crop from last season's squad, including top scorer Piti and promising Brazilian forward Leo Baptistao, all moved on this summer.
However, there are still plenty of reasons for Notts fans to be concerned.
They should look out for tricky wingers Lass Bangoura and Jose Carlos, while Roberto Trashorras is Jemez’s side’s creative engine, and Mexican striker Nury Castillo will be the focal point in attack.
You can follow the journalist on Twitter: @rich9908