Sunday’s La Liga action kicks off at the Visit Mallorca Estadi as mid-table Mallorca lock horns with reigning title holders Real Madrid.
Last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at perennial relegation strugglers Cadiz means each of Mallorca’s six league matches ahead of this fixture has been won by the home side on the day ‘to nil’ (W3, L3).
Though that looks to be a good omen for Javier Aguirre’s men, they have been victorious in just one of their last eight home league encounters against Madrid (D2, L5).
Los Piratas were on the receiving end of a 3-0 scoreline in this corresponding fixture last season as Karim Benzema’s second-half brace inspired Carlo Ancelotti’s team to a clear-cut win.
Amends for that embarrassment could be a critical segment of Mallorca’s effort to maintain a three-game winning league streak on home turf, with all three wins in that run yielding an identical 1-0 scoreline.
Madrid cannot afford the luxury of spurning more points as they already trail pacesetters Barcelona by five following a mixed four-game league start to the new calendar year (W2, D1, L1).
Following a drab 0-0 home draw against Real Sociedad last weekend, Marco Asensio and Vinicius Junior scored beyond half-time to hand Los Merengues a 2-0 victory over out-of-form Valencia on Thursday.
Unfortunately for Ancelotti, his side’s midweek triumph came at a massive cost as centre-back Eder Militao and talisman Benzema had to leave the pitch due to injuries.
With both players reportedly unavailable for selection, Madrid’s bid to defend the title for the first time since 2008 may have reached a critical point.
Based on Mallorca’s impressive run of three straight home wins ‘to nil,’ one goal could be enough to see off Madrid in theory, but the reality tells another story.
Los Piratas have suffered nine defeats in their last ten encounters against Ancelotti’s team in La Liga (W1), conceding at least three goals in six of those losses.
Mallorca’s poor H2H form against Madrid doesn’t exclude the possibility of a quick-fire start, though, with seven of their last eight H2H league goals against Los Blancos coming before half-time.
Following a series of underwhelming defensive performances in La Liga earlier this season, Los Merengues have plugged the holes after the mid-season break, keeping four clean sheets in five post-World Cup league games.
With Benzema injured and Vinicius likely to shoulder the scoring burden on his own, Madrid may need to put on another resilient defensive showing to defy their topsy-turvy five-game top-flight form on the road (W3, L2).
Confidence should remain high in the Los Merengues camp despite all recent setbacks, as they’ve won points on eight of their last nine league visits to Mallorca (W6, D2, L1).
Mallorca vs Real Madrid Potential Line-ups
Mallorca (3-4-3): Predrag Rajkovic; Giovanni Gonzalez, Antonio Raillo, Martin Valjent; Pablo Maffeo, Inigo Ruiz de Galarreta, Antonio Sanchez, Jaume Costa; Tino Kadewere, Vedat Muriqi, Lee Kang-in.
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Thibaut Courtois; Dani Carvajal, Antonio Rudiger, David Alaba, Eduardo Camavinga; Federico Valverde, Aurelien Tchouameni, Luka Modric; Marco Asensio, Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior.
How to Watch?
Mallorca vs Real Madrid, alongside all other Los Blancos’ fixtures, is available to watch online via live Real Madrid streaming.
Mallorca vs Real Madrid Prediction
Mallorca have proved they are no pushovers at home, and with Madrid taking this trip without several influential first-team members, we can envisage a keenly-contested draw.
Mallorca 1-1 Real Madrid
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