Mallorca vs FC Barcelona Preview

Late free kicks from Santi Cazorla and Marcos Senna have seen the gap at the top of La Liga reduced from ten points to six in under a week. With this boost Barça travel to Mallorca knowing that a win would put the difference at just three points before Madrid’s game at home to Real Sociedad.

Pep Guardiola has just 15 first team players available so Tello, Muniesa, Bartra and Montoya have been added to the squad for the trip. With Dani Alves suspended and Adriano out for ten days our options in defence our rather limited. Our main problem is that we have no full backs: Carles Puyol could play at either right-back or left-back with a youngster filling in on the other side. The best option would appear to be to bring in Martin Montoya at right-back, though it would not be at all surprising if Guardiola decided on a back three of Mascherano-Pique-Puyol with Busquets playing a similar role to what we saw in the recent win at Racing.

Mallorca have won their last two games against Atletico and Sporting and are now looking more or less safe in twelfth place on 36 points. This might be thought to play in Barça’s favour but it seems unlikely that a Mallorca team coached by Joaquin Caparros will relax at home to us. Ramis, Pereira and Castro all return from suspension after missing the 2-3 win at Sporting though Alvaro Gimenez who scored the winning goal is doubtful after failing to complete yesterday’s training session. Mallorca’s last home defeat in La Liga was against Madrid in January though Caparros’s boys had Madrid on the ropes at half time that day before capitulating to Higuain’s goals in the second half.

The game tomorrow will no doubt be tough but there is simply no way that we can afford not to win. So often in sport teams get on a good run or a bad run and for some reason it is often very difficult to change the dynamics of this. We have reduced the difference to six points but now it is vital we don’t allow that gap to grow again or we can say adios to La Liga. If we continue to win, however, the pressure will grow and grow on Madrid and it will be a great test of our rivals’ mentality to see how they cope with this. We have been playing very well in recent weeks though we really cannot afford to show any more irregularity in defence. Leo Messi may seem capable of bailing us out however many goals we concede but we cannot expect him to do it always. With the champions League quarter final at Milan next week it is possible that we will see players rested tomorrow. I’ll go for a narrow win for Barça though i think we may have to live through some nervous moments in the process.

Possible Barça XI: Valdes; Mascherano, Pique, Puyol; Busquets, Thiago, Iniesta, Fabregas; Pedro, Messi, Alexis.

My prediction: Mallorca 1 Barça 2


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11 Responses to Mallorca vs FC Barcelona Preview

  1. Shakalero says:

    We are suffering in away games and I believe this game will be no different.

  2. Fredegar says:

    The situation in the league mirrors a bit the season 08-09, when we built in the autumn and winter a lead of 11 points that was cut to just 4 by Madrid before the sprint to the end of the season. At this occasion, we did not lose composure and finally won the title with ease, a composure that Madrid spectacularly missed in their draw at Villarreal. But I won’t read too much into that game and for the moment classify it as a blip, waiting (hoping!) for more proof of a Madrid self-combustion before getting overexcited. Still, with Madrid’s fixtures list, six points is not an unbreakable lead, the problem being that we will need to be near perfect in the league while managing a very tough draw in the CL, and all of that with days with only 15 first team players available for an away game and a defense not that secure.
    Interesting days ahead, and with all that this team has already achieved, all the dreams are possible, but the ride promises to be nervously exhausting!! Visca Barça!

    P.-S. Congrats Nic and Enrique for breaking the 100000 hits mark, and all the best to you BarçaCentralEnrique!

  3. habe says:

    barca we wand LALIGA

  4. I think Barca will win tomorrow 3-0 ! Visca EL Barca !!! WE CAN WIN THIS LA LIGA !!! SOM-HI !!!

  5. Great stuff from Barca lately. Messi may have had a stretch of off games but he’s well on his way to a 60 goal season!!! Can you believe it?!?!?! Possibly more difficult to believe is that Barca seem far more likely to catch Real than they did a bit over a week ago. The only person who seems quite sure they won’t catch Real is Pep.

    Any thoughts on the pessimistic comments from him? Some, at least Phil Ball, it’s because he’s decided his time at Barca is coming to an end and he’s mentally moved on. What do y’all think?

    Must win game. If we go 10 for 10 we’ll win the league. Not going to say what will happen if we lose some, because I’m not sure. But if we don’t drop any points I don’t see us losing this league. Forca Barca.

    • FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

      Naah, i don’t think Pep will leave us anytime soon. He’s just being modest. And i think it is a very good mind game in a way. He(Pep) may have mentioned that Madrid will win the league to the press on purpose with the whole squad knowing the real agenda behind(the fight to the death!!). He would have wanted to sound like we are more concentrated in winning the Champions League. I think if we win tonight’s match by somewhere above 2 a goal margin, the pressure will be even higher on Madrid.

      I really wish Pep gives a rest to Leo Messi if we lead by 2-0 by half time. Alexis, Tello and Pedro has what it takes to lead the front, especially when given a good lead.

  6. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    Good read, Nic! Without Dani Alves and with Adriano injured, we’ll really need Montoya or Batra to put up a good show. I would still prefer a back 4 to start this game. Mallorca won’t be easy. But most importantly, i really hope the pitch conditions are good for this one. I hope our boys stay focus and attack with urgency from the starting whistle. No time for slip-ups, now. May the Gods be with us!

  7. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    i’ll be going with Nic’s prediction of a slim victory.

  8. layibiyi says:

    This definitely looks like a banana-skin match. This is the kind of games were points are dropped because of the focus on madrid’s games and the ucl. I hope pep remains aware of this as he has been in previously similar situations. We need to focus on our games and not make it easier for Madrid,

    Strong performances are mainly needed from mascherano, piqué, puyol, valdes and busquets in this game. The attack can handle theirselves. I would hav predicted they even bail us out by aiming for about 3 goals. But they’ll probably need to play cautiously with the Milan game ahead.

    the fact that caparros is their coach coupled with our sketchy away form this season underlines the difficulty of the game…I go along with nic’s prediction

  9. MikeM says:

    Hoping for the 3 points… it will be tough, but the boys will be fired up and ready, and motivated by the fact that RM have lost 4 points.

    Would like to see a back 4 of Montoya-Pique-Masch-Puyol

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