Real Madrid vs. Mallorca, La Liga Matchday 20, Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid Spain 12 PM EST Sunday January 23, 2011
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Real Madrid 1.20 / Mallorca 12.00 / Draw 6.20
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
Moneyline: Real Madrid -555 / Mallorca +1150 / Draw +550
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Thus Sunday in matchday 20 in Spain’s La Liga Real Madrid plays host to Mallorca. Real Madrid are big time favorites in this match, but even though the odds for Mallorca are slim they are a solid squad that has already beaten Sevilla and Valencia on the road and played to a draw against Real Madrid at home and Barcelona on the road.
This match is very important to Real Madrid, as they are in 2nd place in the league table 4 points behind defending champion Barcelona. Barcelona faces Racing Santander, who is 14th in the league, table on Saturday, so it is likely that Real will be 7 points behind Barca when their match begins Sunday.
Mallorca is currently in the 9th position in the league table and while they have won 3 of their last 5 matches Atltico Madrid 3-0 schooled them in their last match. They will need to find their offense in this match and if they do not they may hope to play to a 0-0 draw like they did against Real in their fist La Liga match of the season.
Real has played great on both sides of the pitch this season ranking 2nd in La Liga in goals scored (47) and goals allowed (17). Mallorca is in the middle of the pack, as they have scored 23 goals on the season and have given up 24.
Real Madrid has 2 wins, a loss, and a tie in their last 4 matches and the tie in their last match against Almeria cost them a couple points in the standings. In that match striker Karim Benzema was benched until the 54th minute and the lack of a true striker to compliment Cristiano Ronaldo has been a major problem for Real this season. If Mallorca can stifle Cristiano Ronaldo they have a legit chance to come away from Santiago Bernabeu with at least a draw.
Mallorca will have to play great as a team and take advantage of the counter attack, since they do not have one player that ranks in the top 20 in goals in La Liga so far this season.
Mallorca is out of the Copa del Rey competition so they will be well rested for this match while Real Madrid plays cross town rival Atltico Madrid on Thursday night in the quarterfinals.
Real Madrid Recent Form:
1/16/2011 Almeria 1 Real Madrid 1 (La Liga)
1/13/2011 Real Madrid 3 Atltico Madrid 1 (Copa del Rey)
1/9/2011 Real Madrid 4 Villarreal 2 (La Liga)
1/6/2011 Levante 2 Real Madrid 0 (Copa del Rey)
1/3/2011 Getafe 2 Real Madrid 3 (La Liga)
Mallorca Recent Form:
1/17/2011 Atltico Madrid 3 Mallorca 0 (La Liga)
1/9/2011 Mallorca 4 Almeria 1 (La Liga)
1/6/2011 Mallorca 3 Almeria 4 (Copa del Rey)
1/3/2011 Mallorca 3 Hercules 0 (La Liga)
12/22/2010 Almeria 4 Mallorca 3 (Copa del Rey)
For Real Madrid D Pepe is questionable for this match due to injury while star F Gonzalo Higuain is out until April or May with a long-term injury. The main injury concerns for Mallorca are D Ivan Ramis and MF Jose Luis Marti, who are both questionable for this match.
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MF Mesut zil (5 goals) and MF ngel Di Mara (4 goals) have to take some pressure off Cristiano Ronaldo, who leads La Liga with 22 goals, up front. The Mallorca defense will key on the Portuguese superstar and I think they will keep him from scoring, but their defense will not keep a clean sheet.
MF Kaka is back in the lineup for Real and besides pushing forward on offense he must create some scoring chances from the midfield.
For Mallorca F Pereira is the only real scoring threat they have and Real will shut him down in this match.
Jason’s Pick to Win: While Real Madrid is, sort of, in desperation mode and they have issues up front their defense will carry them to a win in this match. Much like the Almeria match this one will be close, but I see Real winning by a score of 1-0 or 2-0.