Monday, August 3, 2020

Prediction: Mallorca vs Barcelona

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 12 Jun 2020

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Verdict: Lionel Messi to score anytime & Barcelona to score over 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

Making their return from the enforced break and looking to widen their buffer at the top of the table, Barcelona will make the trip to an empty Iberostar Estadi on Saturday night.

Mallorca

Starting with the hosts, entering the enforced break with a much-needed 2-1 win against Eibar, Mallorca simply have their sights set on mounting a late charge for La Liga safety. Enjoying their brightest run of the season so far back in March and losing just one of their previous four top-flight outings, Head Coach Vicente Moreno has been vocal about his side finding some stability on home soil. Despite picking up a pair of shock victories at the Iberostar Estadi against Real Madrid and Valencia on their La Liga return this season, Mallorca have lost four of their last six matchups at home, including a 1-0 defeat against Getafe prior to the break. Hit with a 5-2 drumming when they made the trip to the Nou Camp earlier in the season, Saturday’s hosts also hold a worrying record against the defending champions. Shipping five strikes in back-to-back defeats against the Champions League outfit, Mallorca have lost each of their last six meetings against Barca and have not recorded a win over them since 2009.

Team News

Mallorca have confirmed that they will be unable to call upon Ghanaian defender Lumor Agbenyenu and Greek midfielder Leonardo Koutris.

Elsewhere, despite enduring a baron run prior to the break, leading marksman Ante Budimir should lead the line this weekend.

Barcelona

As for the visitors, while Barcelona might not have been at their scintillating best prior to the enforced break, the Spanish giants still find themselves holding a two-point buffer at the top of the table as they make a return to action this week. Temporarily suspending their campaign with a 1-0 win against Champions League contenders Real Sociedad, Quique Setién’s men also have a European quarter-final second-leg on the horizion. Still looking to fully bounce back from their 2-0 defeat away at Los Blancos when opening March, the one-time Real Betis boss has seen his pick up maximum points in five of their other six previous La Liga appearances. Unsurprisingly, if Barcelona are to move one step closer to a 27th domestic crown, the Setién will be calling on attacking talisman Lionel Messi to lead their charge at the Iberostar Estadi this weekend. Including bagging four goals in Barca’s rampant 5-0 win against Eibar prior to the break, the Argentinian ace has 19 La Liga goals this season and sits five goals clear in the race for the Golden Boot.

Team News

Despite returning to training and previously believing he would be fit to make a return this weekend, striker Luis Suarez looks set to miss Saturday’s trip to Mallorca.

Elsewhere, Barca will also once again be unable to call upon Ousmane Dembele who is still dealing with a long-term hamstring problem.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Picking up a 5-2 win when the two sides faced off earlier in the season, Barcelona have won each of their last six matchups against Mallorca.
  • In fact, scoring five goals in back-to-back victories, Barcelona have scored over three goals in all bar one of those six victories.
  • Lionel Messi has scored 19 La Liga goals this season and sits five goals clear in the race for the Golden Boot.
  • Mallorca have lost four of their last six La Liga matchups at the Iberostar Estadi.
  • Saturday’s hosts have also scored just a single goal in their last three home fixtures.

Conclusion

Although Mallorca might have enjoyed their brightest run of the campaign prior to the enforced break, Saturday’s hosts couldn’t have asked for a tougher task this weekend. With the defending champions holding a two-point buffer at the top of the table on their return to action, it is hard to look past Barcelona’s stunning record against the La Liga returners. With the likes of Lionel Messi ready to lead their charge on Saturday night, the Champions League quarter-finalists have won each of their last six meetings against Mallorca, bagging five goals in back-to-back victories. In a battle between two sides battling it out at opposite ends of the table, Quique Setién’s men should be looking to make a statement at the Iberostar Estadi this weekend.

Verdict: Lionel Messi to score anytime & Barcelona to score over 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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