Madrid face Mallorca in La Liga

Madrid face Mallorca in La Liga

Real Madrid visit Real Mallorca on Saturday as they look to maintain their La Liga form in an enthralling Champions League clash with Premier League champions Manchester City.

Carlo Ancelotti's side are eight points clear at the top of the table and are in a difficult balance ahead of next Wednesday's second leg at the Etihad after a thrilling 3-3 draw earlier this week. ing.

With Clasico fast approaching, taking your eye off the ball domestically could be a grave mistake.

Resurrected rivals, second-placed Barcelona, ​​visit the Santiago Bernabéu on April 21, desperate to find a way back into title contention to defend their crown.

Copa del Rey runners-up Mallorca have enjoyed a strong season and, although they failed to win the club's first cup trophy since 2003, they will receive a hero's welcome at the Son Moi Stadium. Become.

Javier Aguirre's side, who are 15th in the table, are six points clear of the relegation zone with eight games remaining and will need to quickly return their focus to La Liga.

Mallorca could benefit if Ancelotti decides to rotate his squad to keep his players relevant for the Champions League, but the Italian has plenty of strong options. has been done.

Brahim Diaz, Joselu and veteran Luka Modric could all play, while defender Eder Militão could make his first start after a long-term knee injury.

Ancelotti suggested that top scorer Jude Bellingham and Brazilian forward duo Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo gave their all to end the game against City.

“Their work up front was very good… maybe they didn't have their usual freshness, but they did a great defensive job and we were able to control the game,” the coach said. said.

There has been some bad blood between the Mallorca defender and Madrid winger Vinicius in the past.

The Brazilian was taunted by full-back Pablo Maffeo during a match last season, with the Argentine making a crying gesture towards the 23-year-old after complaining that he had been fouled.

Maffeo ended the cup final penalty shootout against Athletic in tears, and Real Madrid fans were quick to remind him on social media of his encounter with Vinicius.

The defender deleted his X (formerly Twitter) account after receiving abuse from Whites supporters.

Maffeo added fuel to the fire last year when he said: “We're not all mad at him for no reason. I mean there's probably some anger.”

If manager Ancelotti decides not to rest Vinicius, the individual showdown between the two players will likely attract attention.

Aguirre said Mallorca's defeat in the Copa del Rey final will inspire his players in La Liga.

“Absolutely, I let them absorb the loss and then we have to prepare,” the veteran Mexican coach said last week.

Player to watch: Nico Williams
The Athletic Bilbao winger played a key role in the team's Copa del Rey victory last weekend. His next task will be to lead his team to victory against Villarreal as Los Leones battle for a top-four finish in his first return to the Champions League. Since the 2014-15 season.

Key statistics
0.61 – Despite his mistake against Man City in the Champions League, Madrid goalkeeper Andriy Lunin concedes the fewest goals per 90 minutes in Spain.

31 – The Argentine has featured in top-flight games this season, the most of any Spaniard.

82 – Valencia striker Hugo Duro is the most fouled player in La Liga

Match schedule (always in Greenwich Mean Time)


Real Betis v Celta Vigo (1900)


Atletico Madrid vs. Girona (1200), Rayo Vallecano vs. Getafe (1415), Mallorca vs. Real Madrid (1630), Cadiz vs. Barcelona (1900)


Las Palmas vs. Sevilla (1200), Granada vs. Alaves (1415), Athletic Bilbao vs. Villarreal (1630), Real Sociedad vs. Almeria (1900)


Osasuna v Valencia (1900)


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