Mallorca vs. Real Madrid: Complete Preview, Team News and Predictions

Michael CernaCorrespondent IOctober 26, 2012

If there ever were an upset brewing, it is on Sunday in Spain.

Mallorca welcome the defending champions of La Liga to Iberostar Stadium this weekend, and there are plenty of things working in their favor.

If the Balearic islanders do beat Real Madrid, they would be level on points. They could get back into a European qualification spot as well.

Los Merengues would be in a very bad spot in the title race, as they could potentially move to seventh place and 11 points behind Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

The match is between two teams that are nowhere near level to each other, but this La Liga season has already been full of upsets, so let's take a closer look at this match.


You think Real Madrid has injury troubles?

While the money spent to acquire these two sides and the talent available for each manager are worlds apart, the impact of key injuries going into Sunday's match is vast for both teams.

Real Madrid will be without all three fullbacks, as well as Sami Khedira, who re-injured himself against Borussia Dortmund mid-week.

Real are suffering right now, but not nearly as bad as their weekend opponents.

Mallorca are missing Javi Marquez, Joao Victor, Jose Nunes and Antonio Lopez, who have all been lost to long-term knee injuries.


Madrid's wealth and depth mean no excuses this weekend

Real Madrid have world-class players to sub for Khedira and Arbeloa and can provide a few options at left-back that should do just fine for now.

Mallorca are not so lucky—or, should I say, rich. Marquez's injury has been an especially big blow, and the recent results show how much the team is hurting.

When they upset Valencia a month ago, it put Los Bermellones in fourth place and right in the Champions League hunt.

Injuries have prevented the islanders from earning a single point. They have lost their last three matches and have allowed six goals in the process.

They were so desperate for cover that they went out and got Andreu Fontas from Barcelona on loan.

The defender made his debut against Sevilla last weekend—as did Gio dos Santos, in a great display—and he will play a key role this season in central defense and midfield.


Managerial advantage

The biggest thing for Mallorca is that they have Joaquin Caparros in their corner.

Manager Jose Mourinho is rightly appreciated for his past successes in other leagues, but in La Liga, he has not shown the same ability as a few of his peers already have.

One of the men who has proven to be a better overall manager is Joaquin Caparros. I explained why this is so in a recent article.

The great Spanish coach can put another star on his resume if he can somehow defeat the much more powerful and talented Real Madrid with such a decimated squad.


Upset alert

Real Madrid will be favored in this one, even with so many players out, but you can bet Jose Mourinho is not looking past Mallorca.

He knows very well how deadly a desperate team like this is, especially one led by Joaquin Caparros.

Els Barralets will be desperate to end their three-game skid and may see Los Merengues as vulnerable after losing in Germany mid-week, but they will find it very hard to beat the reigning champs, even in this weakened state.



Mallorca may be backed against a wall and ready to pounce, but Real Madrid only seem like a wounded animal.

Just as they do on the pitch with the incredible counterattacks, Madrid can wake up in a heartbeat to take over a game and turn their fortunes around.

I expect Tomer Hemed to continue his outstanding season by netting his seventh goal—maybe via a set piece, knowing how weak Real are against them.

However, in the end, Cristiano Ronaldo and co. will be too much to overcome and should rebound from their Champions League loss with an empathic win.

I do not expect a blowout, but it would not surprise me in the least to see Madrid score more than three goals against a very weak Mallorca defense.

Caparros may be one of Spain's best coaches, but he can only do so much with this squad.


The match kicks off Sunday, October 28 at 4:30 p.m. EST in Mallorca.



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