Barcelona will look to recover from their shock midweek Champions League defeat to Celtic when they travel to Mallorca on Sunday. On paper, Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova couldn’t have wished for much better opponents for his team to bounce back against than a Mallorca side that have lost their last five matches in La Liga.
Mallorca will also be hampered for the visit of Barcelona by a mounting injury list that now includes former Barca man Giovani Dos Santos after the Mexican picked up a thigh injury in his side’s latest defeat, a 1-0 loss to Deportivo La Coruna.
Despite everything seemingly indicating a victory for the Catalans, Vilanova is taking nothing for granted and pointed toward Mallorca’s coach Joaquin Caparros as a reason for concern.
“Caparros always makes things difficult for us,” Vilanova said, according to Barcelona’s official website. “It’s never an easy place to go. With Athletic Club he was the first coach to put pressure on us in our own half.”
While Gerard Pique should return to the starting lineup after appearing off the bench in Glasgow, it is still too early for Carlos Puyols’s comeback, despite the defender returning to training.
“In principle he won’t make the trip to Mallorca,” Vilanova revealed. “Physically he’s fine but it may be a bit too soon so we’ll wait another week.”
Barcelona’s injury problems, while still notable, still do not match up to those of Mallorca. As well as Dos Santos, the home side will also be missing Joao Victor, Nunes, Antonio Lopez and Javi Marquez. Right-back Ximo may return, however.
D: Ximo, Geromel, Conceicao, Bigas
M: Fontas, Pina
Pereira, Victor, Arizmendi
D: Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba
M: Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta
F: Pedro, Messi, Villa
Prediction: Surely low on confidence and with a host of injuries, it is hard to envisage Mallorca posing a serious threat to Barcelona maintaining their lead atop the La Liga standings. Barcelona may well take out their frustrations from midweek at the Iberostar Estadi, especially against a side that should come out to play and leave openings at the back.
Mallorca 1-4 Barcelona
Where to watch: The La Liga clash kicks-off at 11.50 a.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by beIN Sport. A live stream, which you view at your own discretion, will be available here.
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