Sports Mole previews Saturday’s La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Mallorca, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Atletico Madrid will be looking to make it three La Liga victories in a row when they continue their 2021-22 campaign at home to Mallorca on Saturday evening.
Diego Simeone‘s side are currently second in Spain’s top flight, seven points behind leaders Real Madrid, while Mallorca occupy 14th, four points outside the relegation zone.
Atletico have won eight, drawn five and lost one of their 14 La Liga matches this season to collect 29 points, which has left them in second position in the table, seven points behind leaders Real Madrid.
Simeone’s team have been victorious in three of their last four league outings, including their last two against Osasuna and Cadiz, hitting four against the latter away from home last time out.
Atletico have a game in hand on leaders Real Madrid so could potentially close the gap to four points, but they have work to do in the Champions League when it comes to qualifying for the round of 16.
Indeed, the Spanish champions are currently bottom of Group B, having picked up just four points from their five matches thus far; they are only a point behind second-placed Porto but need to beat the Portuguese giants next week and hope that AC Milan drop points against Liverpool in order to claim second spot.
Atletico cannot afford to take their eye off the ball in the league, though, as they will take on Real Madrid and Sevilla in back-to-back away fixtures on December 12 and December 18 respectively before traveling to Granada ahead of the winter break.
Mallorca have won three, drawn seven and lost five of their 15 league matches this season to collect 16 points, which has left them in 14th position in the table ahead of their return to action.
The Pirates were promoted back to this level courtesy of finishing second in the Segunda Division last season, and they are looking to secure back-to-back La Liga campaigns for the first time since 2013.
Mallorca secured their spot in the second round of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night courtesy of a 2-0 victory over Gimnastica Segoviana.
Luis Garcia‘s side are without a win in their last seven league encounters, although five of those matches have finished level, including a goalless draw against Getafe last time out.
Mallorca have lost their last two league games against Atletico but have drawn two of their last four top-flight fixtures against the Red and Whites, including a 0-0 in the Spanish capital in May 2013.
Atletico Madrid La Liga form:
Atletico Madrid form (all competitions):
Mallorca La Liga form:
Mallorca form (all competitions):
Atletico will again be without the services of Kieran Trippier due to a shoulder problem, but Joao Felix is expected to be available for selection, having recently been absent with a muscular issue.
Head coach Simeone could revert to a back three for this match, but there are not expected to be any real surprises in terms of player selection, with the team potentially unchanged from the clash with Cadiz.
Felix’s return is likely to come from the bench, with Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann starting as the front two, although Angel Correa is also in contention to feature in an attacking area.
As for Mallorca, Antonio Raillo, Salva Sevilla and Matthew Hoppe are unavailable through injury, but Takefusa Kubo is expected to be available to start for the visitors.
Angel is again likely to lead the line, with Lee Kang-inKubo and Dani Rodriguez also operating in advanced areas for the promoted club.
Head coach Garcia is unlikely to disturb the defensive unit that kept a clean sheet against Getafe, with Pablo Maffeo and Jaume Costa again featuring in the full-back areas.
Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Savic, Gimenez, Hermoso; Llorente, Lemar, Koke, De Paul, Carrasco; Suarez, Griezmann
Mallorca possible starting lineup:
Reina; Maffeo, Valjent, Russo, Costa; Galarreta, Baba; Kubo, Kang-in, D Rodriguez; Angel
We say: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Mallorca
Mallorca have proved difficult to beat in recent weeks, drawing plenty of matches, but it is always difficult to back against Atletico at Wanda Metropolitano, and we are expecting Simeone’s side to pick up another important three points in pursuit of Real Madrid.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win: data