Sports Mole previews Monday’s La Liga clash between Mallorca and Real Madrid, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Real Madrid will be bidding to make it four La Liga victories in a row when they make the trip to Visit Mallorca Estadi on Monday evening to take on Mallorca.
Los Blancos are currently top of the table, eight points clear of second-placed Sevilla, while Mallorca occupy 16th, just two points ahead of the relegation zone ahead of this weekend’s fixtures.
Mallorca suffered their fourth straight league defeat last weekend, going down 4-3 at Celta Vigo, with Iago Aspas winning it for the home side in the 97th minute of what was an extraordinary game of football.
The Pirates, who finished second in the Segunda Division last season, are bidding to make it back-to-back campaigns at this level of football for the first time since 2013, but they are firmly in the relegation mix entering the final straight, currently sitting 16th in the table.
Mallorca are only two points clear of 18th-placed Cadiz and four clear of 19th-placed Alaves, but the picture could have changed by the time that this match kicks off; Cadiz were in action on Friday night, suffering a 2-1 defeat at Atletico Madrid, which was a good result for the home side here.
Luis Garcia‘s side have lost 13 league matches this season – only Alaves (15) and Levante (15) have a worse record in terms of defeats – and they suffered a 6-1 loss at Bernabeu in the reverse match earlier this season.
Mallorca ran out 1-0 winners in the corresponding fixture with Real Madrid during the 2019-20 campaign, but they have found it difficult in front of their own supporters this season, picking up just eight points from 13 matches, recording only two wins in the process.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, will enter the match off the back of an incredible Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain, with Los Blancos booking their spot in the quarter-finals of the competition courtesy of a 3-2 aggregate success over Mauricio Pochettino‘s team.
Kylian Mbappe‘s second goal in the tie sent PSG into a 2-0 lead in the 39th minute of Wednesday’s match, but Karim Benzema came up with a second-half hat-trick for Carlo Ancelotti‘s side to send them into the final eight, so the visitors will be full of confidence heading into this match.
Los Blancos have also won their last three league games against Alaves, Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad to move onto 63 points in the table, which has left them eight points clear of second-placed Sevilla and 12 clear of third-placed Atletico, who have played a game more.
Ancelotti’s team are threatening to pull clear at the summit, and they have two more matches before the end of the month, tackling Mallorca on Monday before the small matter of a Clasico home against Barcelona on March 20, which is set to be a fascinating affair due to the Catalan club’s improvement.
Real Madrid have comfortably the best away record in Spain’s top flight this season, picking up 29 points from 13 matches, but as mentioned, their last trip to Mallorca in La Liga ended in a 1-0 defeat.
Mallorca La Liga form:
Real Madrid La Liga form:
Real Madrid form (all competitions):
Mallorca will be without the services of Manolo Reina and Rodrigo Battaglia on Monday evening through suspension, while Dominik Greif (COVID-19) and Inigo Ruiz de Galarreta (knee) will also miss out.
Head coach Garcia is expected to make changes from the side that started against Celta last time out, with Salva Sevilla and Angel potentially coming into the starting XI.
Mallorca are likely to switch from a 5-3-2 formation to a 4-2-3-1 here, and there will be a spot in the team for on-loan Real Madrid attacker Takefusa Kubowho is free to face his parent club.
As for Real Madrid, Nacho, Eder Militao and Benzema picked up minor knocks in the win over PSG, but all three players are expected to be available for selection in this match.
Ferland Mendy and Casemiro will both come back into the side, having been suspended against PSG, while there could be a position in midfield for Eduardo Camavingawith Ancelotti potentially being cautious over Toni Kroos‘s involvement, as the German has recently had a hamstring problem.
Marco Asensio is facing serious competition from Rodrygo for a spot on the right of the front three, but the Spaniard should keep his position, leaving Eden Hazard and Gareth Bale on the bench once again.
Mallorca possible starting lineup:
Rico; Maffeo, Valjent, Raillo, Costa; Sevilla, Baba; Kubo, Angel, D Rodriguez; Muriqi
Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Alaba, Mendy; Camavinga, Casemiro, Modric; Asensio, Benzema, Vinicius
We say: Mallorca 1-3 Real Madrid
Mallorca are capable of making this an uncomfortable match for Real Madrid, but we are finding it incredibly difficult to back anything other than an away success. Los Blancos will be full of confidence following their win over PSG and should have too much quality for their opponents on Monday night.