Thursday, April 25, 2024

Prediction: Barcelona vs Mallorca

Verdict: Total goals over 2.5

Best odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

Barcelona will be aiming to bounce back to winning form in La Liga as they host Mallorca at the Estadi Olimpic Lluís Companys on Friday evening.

Currently sitting third in the La Liga standings, Barcelona trail leaders Real Madrid by eight points. Meanwhile, Mallorca occupies the 15th position, holding an eight-point cushion above the relegation zone.

Barcelona

Barcelona extended their unbeaten streak to seven games across all competitions after securing a goalless draw against Athletic Bilbao in their previous outing. With this result, they have amassed 58 points from 27 La Liga matches this season.

Xavi’s team currently sits third in the league standings, trailing second-place Girona by just one point and league leaders Real Madrid by eight with 11 games remaining. Despite the gap, Barcelona remain in contention for a title challenge as they head into the final stretch of the campaign, for the time being.

Since Xavi announced his departure as head coach at the end of January, Barcelona have remained unbeaten, winning four matches and drawing two in their last six league fixtures. As they aim to continue their positive momentum, their focus will soon shift to the Champions League, with Napoli awaiting them for the second leg of their last-16 tie on March 12. The first leg ended in a 1-1 draw in Italy on February 21st.

While Barcelona have faced difficulties at their temporary home, the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, suffering all three of their league defeats there this season, they have a strong record against Mallorca. In fact, they have emerged victorious in 11 of their last 12 encounters in Spain’s top flight, including a 3-0 win in the corresponding fixture last season.

Team News

Barcelona faced significant setbacks in their previous match against Athletic Bilbao, as both Pedri and Frenkie de Jong sustained injuries and were forced off the field during the first half of the goalless draw. Pedri’s hamstring issue is causing concerns, with fears that it may require surgery, potentially ruling him out for the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, De Jong is set for an extended spell on the sidelines due to an ankle injury.

However, there is some positive news on the injury front, as Ferran Torres could make his return from a thigh problem in the upcoming match. Nevertheless, Alejandro Balde, Gavi, and Marcos Alonso remain unavailable due to their respective injuries. Also, Ronald Araujo will be absent due to suspension after picking up a milestone yellow card against Athletic.

In response to these absences, Fermin Lopez, Lamine Yamal, and Inigo Martinez could be in contention for starting roles in the upcoming match. Pau Cubarsi is expected to retain his position in the heart of the defence.

Mallorca

Mallorca managed to secure a 2-2 draw against Barcelona earlier in the season, showcasing their capability to compete with top sides. Javier Aguirre’s team comes into this match on the back of two consecutive victories.

Their recent successes include a penalty shootout triumph over Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey semifinals, followed by an important 1-0 win against Girona in the league. The lone goal from Copete was enough to secure all three points in the game, propelling Mallorca to 27 points from 27 games and positioning them 15th in the table.

Comfortably placed above the relegation zone, Mallorca are only two points behind 13th-place Alaves, suggesting they have the potential to climb further up the table.

However, Mallorca’s away form has been less impressive, having garnered just eight points from 13 matches on the road, ranking them with the fourth-worst away record in the division. Their only away victory in the league this season came against Celta Vigo, a narrow 1-0 win back in September.

Team News

Pablo Maffeo is sidelined due to a knee injury, while Omar Mascarell will miss the match due to suspension after earning his fifth yellow card of the season against Girona.

In Mascarell’s absence, Samu Costa is likely to step into the midfield role. Otherwise, the starting lineup is expected to remain unchanged from their previous match against the league’s second-placed team.

Vedat Muriqi and Cyle Larin are anticipated to lead the attack, with Abdon Prats providing backup from the bench. Toni Lato is set to retain his position as the left-sided wing-back.

Conclusion

Despite Mallorca’s ability to cause problems for Barcelona, the Catalans should be able to move past this particular hurdle, though by going through a difficult contest in which they’re likely to need more than one goal to secure the three points.

Verdict: Total goals over 2.5

Best odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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