Thursday, June 1, 2023

Prediction: Mallorca vs Valencia

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 24 May 2023


Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: Olympusbet

Mallorca are set to host Valencia at the Iberostar Stadium in Palma de Mallorca on Thursday evening, in a game within round 36 of the 2022/23 season in La Liga. It will be a contest between the two teams to determine if either will keep a bleak theoretical chance (all realistic chances are gone) of playing in Europe next term, but interestingly enough, one of them still needs to secure survival in the Spanish top flight.


With two wins, one draw and three defeats from the last six matches, Mallorca cannot be said to be on a good run of form right now. They beat Getafe at home by 3-1, lost away to Atletico Madrid by 3-1, drew 1-1 at home against Athletic Bilbao, lost 2-1 away to Girona, beat Cadiz at home by 1-0, and eventually lost 3-0 against Almeria.

With just seven points from the possible 18 in that span, Javier “El Vasco” Aguirre’s team have slid down the table to 12th place and seen their chances of qualifying for Europe deteriorate rapidly. They’re six points behind Athletic Bilbao in seventh, five behind Girona in eighth, four behind Sevilla in ninth, three behind Osasuna in 10th, and two behind Rayo Vallecano in 11th place.

That convincing and highly disappointing defeat to Almeria, courtesy of a hat-trick by Lazaro, was a particularly strong blow to Mallorca’s chances of appearing in Europe next season, but boosted Almeria’s chances of survival greatly.

Team News

Aguirre has significant injury problems for this game. He won’t be able to call upon Manu Morlanes or Inigo Ruiz de Galarreta to take their places in the middle of the park, or defenders Matija Nastasic and Ludwig Augustinsson. Jaume Costa and captain Antonio Raillo, also defenders, are doubts.

With Predrag Rajkovic in goal, Antonio Sanchez and Jose Copete are likely to flank Martin Valjent and Dennis Hadzikadunic at the back. Pablo Maffeo and Idrissu Baba are set to provide protection to the back four from the base of the midfield, while the trio of Amath Ndiaye, Dani Rodriguez and Lee Kang-in supports striker Vedat Muriqi.


As for Valencia, they’ve attracted a lot of media attention over the last couple of days, not only in Spain but across the globe, and the reason for it is not one they can be proud of. During their 1-0 win over Real Madrid at the Mestalla on Saturday, their supporters hurled racial abuse at Real winger Vinicius Junior, to such extent that the 22-year-old winger reacted in anger in the dying seconds of the match, and to the complete bemusement of the football world, the referee sent him off.

However, the red card has since been overturned with the explanation that the referee wasn’t in possession of all the facts in the moment, the players of other La Liga clubs stood behind a large banner saying “racists out of football” in the following matches, and Valencia have been hit with a fine and a partial stadium closure for the next five home games. Finally, the problem appears to have been taken seriously and it’s being tackled, despite La Liga president Javier Tebas engaging in a Twitter row with Vinicius with the aim of playing the whole issue down.

Valencia CF subsequently issued a statement, strongly condemning racism and vowing to ban the offending so-called “supporters” from their stadium for life. Head coach Ruben Baraja supported the actions taken by the club, as well as Vinicius’ actions of rebellion towards the abuse leading up to the red card. However, he also tried to make it clear that the club and its true supporters are not racists, and expressed his personal view that the punishment the club has been dealt is unjust.

Whatever Baraja may feel, the clubs in whose stadiums such incidents occur must be forced to act in the face of racism, rather than just talk. Too many times it has happened, not only in Spain, with no consequences whatsoever for those responsible, and it makes one wonder if Valencia would’ve reacted at all had Vinicius managed to control himself in such an unbearable situation and there had been no pressure from either him, Real Madrid, La Liga or the media.

But back to football matters now.

Valencia are currently in 13th place, directly below Mallorca with 40 points, the same tally as 14th-place Celta Vigo who have already played their game of this round. They aren’t very likely to get into actual danger of relegation, though they aren’t quite safe yet either. Getafe, who top the relegation zone at the moment, have three games left to play and only five points less. It means Baraja’s men will have to pick up a few points more to be on the safe side.

That, on the other hand, shouldn’t be much of a problem for the team that won four and drew one of their last six games. They beat Elche away by 0-2, Valladolid at home by 2-1, lost 2-1 away to Cadiz, drew 1-1 at home against Villarreal, and beat Celta in Vigo by 1-2, before that game at the Mestalla against Real Madrid which they won by 1-0.

The only goal of the game against the 14-time European champions was the work of Diego Lopez.

Team News

Defender Eray Comert and midfielder Yunus Musah picked up suspension-triggering bookings against Real and won’t feature in this one.

On the other hand, defenders Gabriel Paulista and Mouctar Diakhaby are back in contention after serving suspensions of their own.

Striker Marcos Andre is the only player absent through injury.

Giorgi Mamardashvili will stand between the posts, with the centre-back pair of Diakhaby and Gabriel flanked by Thierry Correia and captain Jose Gaya. Barcelona loanee Nico Gonzalez will join Javi Guerra and Andre Almeida in the middle of the park, while Diego Lopez and Justin Kluivert support veteran striker Edinson Cavani upfront.


It’s obvious that these two teams belong in the middle of the La Liga table at the moment and that’s where both are likely to finish. Valencia are, however, on a better run of form at the moment, and a narrow away win, perhaps with just one goal in it, could be on the cards.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 11/8

Bookmaker: Olympusbet


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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