Real Madrid will welcome RCD Mallorca at the newly renovated Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in La Liga on Wednesday evening.
Los Blancos have ended 2023 at the top of the league table. They have accumulated 45 points from 18 games and Girona have also earned the same number of points in as many games but Carlo Ancelotti’s side are currently the league leader in head-to-head rule.
So, Real Madrid will be desperate to start the new year on a high note by defeating Mallorca in this encounter. Los Merengues have endured only one defeat in all competitions so far this season and it’s highly unlikely that Mallorca will be able to double that number on Wednesday.
Javier Aguirre’s side are currently 14th in the league, sitting five points off the bottom three. However, Mallorca haven’t lost a single game in their last six fixtures in all competitions. So, it remains to be seen whether they can continue their unbeaten run tomorrow.
Real Madrid have won the last seven consecutive games against Mallorca at Santiago Bernabéu in La Liga and have lost only one out of the last 12 home games versus the Balearics.
However, Los Blancos were beaten by Mallorca when these two sides last met in the Spanish top-flight, though the game was at Estadi de Son Moix. So, Real Madrid will be keen on taking revenge for that defeat tomorrow.
How to watch
The match will kick off at 6:15pm UK time and the game will be televised live on Viaplay Sports 1 channel in the UK. Supporters who want to watch the game in person can also buy Real Madrid tickets via official club outlets or through trusted resellers such as seatsnet.com.
Real Madrid have a long injury list at the moment with most of them at their back. David Alaba and Eder Militao have been sidelined with serious knee issues and they aren’t in contention to feature in this game.
Thibaut Courtois has been unavailable over the last few months due to a serious injury and he is not likely to return anytime soon. So, he also remains sidelined for tomorrow’s game.
Ferland Mendy has also been suffering from injury problems so he isn’t in contention to feature versus Mallorca. Nacho Fernandez is suspended for this game having picked up a red card last time out.
Eduardo Camavinga has been unavailable for selection over the last few weeks owing to an injury but although he is edging closer towards returning to full fitness, there is a question mark about his availability in this game.
Vinicius Jr has also been sidelined with his injury problems in recent times but he could return to the matchday squad tomorrow and alongside the Brazilian, new summer signing, Arda Guler could also be named in the matchday squad after recovering from his persistent injury problems.
For Mallorca, they will be without Martin Valjent and Vedat Muriqi in this fixture due to injury problems. Alongside them, Jaume Costa will be unavailable for selection versus Real Madrid owing to suspension issues.
But, the good news for the visitors will be that Toni Lato and Omar Mascarell should return to action tomorrow after recovering from their respective injuries.
Ancelotti is set to continue with the 4-3-1-2 formation in this encounter with Kepa Arrizabalaga likely to start in goal. So, amid their injury problems at their back, Aurelien Tchouameni could be deployed at the back for Real Madrid and alongside the Frenchman, Antonio Rudiger could start. Dani Carvajal could be in the right-back position, while Fran Garcia could be on the opposite side.
Toni Kroos could be deployed in the deep-lying playmaker position with Federico Valverde and Luka Modric in the box-to-box role. Jude Bellingham should continue in the number ten position for Los Blancos.
Rodrygo and Brahim Diaz could be leading the line for Ancelotti’s side. So, Joselu could be among the substitutes in this encounter.
Expected Real Madrid line-up vs Mallorca
Kepa; Carvajal, Tchouameni, Rudiger, Garcia; Kroos, Valverde, Modric, Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo
Aguilar could deploy a conservative 5-4-1 formation versus Madrid with the hope of earning at least a point from this fixture. Predrag Rajkovic could be in goal for the visitors and in front of him, Pablo Maffeo, Antonio Raillo, Matjia Nastasic, Jose Copete and Lato could be the back five for Mallorca.
Antonio Sanchez, Samuel Costa, Sergi Darder and Dani Rodriguez could be in midfield, while Cyle Larin should lead the line for Aguirre’s side.
Expected Mallorca line-up vs Real Madrid
Rajkovic; Maffeo, Raillo, Nastasic, Copete, Lato; Sánchez, Costa, Darder, Rodríguez; Larin
Bellingham has continued to showcase his productivity in front of the goal and he has managed to fill Karim Benzema’s void seamlessly at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium this season. So, the Real Madrid fans will be hoping that the England international will be able to help his side win this game by putting his name on the score-sheet.
Rodrygo has stepped up his game in recent times and has managed to fill Vinicius Jr’s void amid his injury absence. So, the responsibility will be on him to guide his team to a comfortable victory versus Mallorca.
After starting the season slowly, Diaz has 5 showcasing his best in recent games and has now secured his place in Ancelotti’s starting eleven. So, he has the qualities to hurt the opposition’s defence and therefore, Mallorca need to keep a close eye on the Spaniard tomorrow.
As for Mallorca, the onus will be on Larin to work hard and showcase his efficiency in holdup play to give his team respite from Real Madrid’s attack. In addition, he would need to be perfect in front of the goal to give his side a chance of taking all three points from this fixture.
The back five and midfield four need to be disciplined and stay in good shape to thwart Real Madrid’s attacks. The midfield duo, Darder and Costa, needs to be brave, they would have to take the ball from defence and play forward. They need to be clinical with possession to help Mallorca move forward.
Real Madrid are the heavy favourite to win this game, especially given the match is at the newly renovated Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. So, anything but a victory from this encounter will be a huge disappointment for Ancelotti’s side.
Real Madrid have been excellent defensively this season, while Mallorca have struggled to score goals this term. So, it seems the visitors don’t have the attacking firepower at their disposal to hurt a strong Los Blancos team.
Therefore, Real Madrid should eventually find a comfortable victory in this fixture to keep their league leader status intact. However, it is going to be interesting to see how the game eventually unfolds tomorrow. Real Madrid 4-0 Mallorca
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