HomeFootballPreview: Mallorca vs. Almeria - prediction, team news, lineups

Preview: Mallorca vs. Almeria – prediction, team news, lineups


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Sports Mole previews Sunday’s La Liga clash between Mallorca and Almeria, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Aiming to guarantee their La Liga survival with a game to spare, Mallorca will play host to Almeria in the penultimate round of league matches on Sunday.

The hosts currently lead the bottom three in the Spanish top-flight table by four points with six left to fight for, while their visitors have already been condemned to relegation and will aim to keep any hopes alive of moving off the foot of the division.

Match preview

© Reuters

Mallorca head into their final home game of the season on Sunday aiming to wrap up their La Liga safety, having maintained a lead over the drop zone with a crucial pair of results in the last week.

Following a draw with Cadiz and a narrow 1-0 defeat in a resilient effort against Atletico Madrid, Los Piratas head into the final four games in 17th spot with 32 points from 34 outings, six clear of Cadiz in the final relegation spot, and they would maintain that lead with a crucial return to winning ways at home to Las Palmas last weekend.

Giovanni Gonzalez fired Javier Aguirre‘s side into the lead on the half-hour mark, and they stood strong throughout the rest of the contest at the Estadi Mallorca Son Moix to take a seventh three-point haul of the campaign, before most recently visiting 13th-placed Osasuna on Tuesday.

Aguirre’s men fell behind early on in that game, but they were eventually able to come away with a crucial share of the spoils from a 1-1 draw, as Sergi Darder levelled the scores soon after the hour mark, keeping his side four points clear of Cadiz despite the 18th-placed side managing consecutive wins.

While this season may be a cause for disappointment after enjoying a ninth-placed La Liga finish last time around, Mallorca must now focus on wrapping up their survival and booking a fourth consecutive season in the top flight, knowing that a victory on Saturday or a loss for Cadiz would see them move out of sight heading into the final day.

Barcelona coach Xavi and Almeria coach Pepe Mel on May 16, 2024© Reuters

Their visitors, on the other hand, find themselves already resigned to the drop and left to only fight for 19th spot in what has been a difficult La Liga campaign.

After narrowly avoiding relegation by a single point on their return to the Spanish top flight last season, Almeria have struggled throughout the entirety of the new term, remaining a constant in the bottom three having only managed 17 points from their 36 matches so far, winning just two of those while suffering 23 defeats.

They remained winless for the first 28 of those games, but Pepe Mel has since inspired two victories following his appointment in March, firstly ending their wait with a 1-0 triumph away at Las Palmas, before more recently prevailing by the same scoreline away at Rayo Vallecano at the beginning of May with Anthony Lozano netting the only goal of the game in the first half.

With their relegation already confirmed before that three-point haul, the Rojiblancos set out to build on the positives and bow out of La Liga on a high, but they again find themselves on the back of consecutive losses since, firstly suffering a narrow 3-2 loss away at Real Betis before most recently hosting Barcelona and falling short as Fermin Lopez netted both goals in a 2-0 away win.

Now with two games left to play in their two-year stay in the top flight, with 19th-placed Granada four points better off, Almeria will be keen to end on a positive note and score a third away win of the campaign on Sunday before heading into a final-day meeting with Cadiz.

Mallorca La Liga form:

Almeria La Liga form:

Team News

Mallorca's Giovanni Gonzalez celebrates scoring their first goal with Jose Manuel Copete on February 27, 2024© Reuters

Mallorca are unlikely to make many changes to their starting XI from the midweek draw with Osasuna, although defender Martin Valjent and forward Vedat Muriqi may both come back in from the outset after the key men missed the last game through suspensions.

Muriqi should lead the line, likely leaving Cyle Larin to fight with Daniel Rodriguez for a spot in the attack, while Sergi Darder should continue on the left-hand side after his equalising goal last time out.

Omar Mascarell and Manu Morlanes will both hope to keep their spots in midfield, while Javier Aguirre should again deploy Giovanni Gonzalez, Antonio Raillo and former Manchester City man Matija Nastasic.

Almeria are set to remain without key defender Edgar Gonzalez, who missed their meeting with Barcelona through injury, while Iddrisu Baba is injured and ineligible to play against his parent club and forward Largie Ramazani will continue to serve a suspension.

Anthony Lozano led the line last time out in their 4-2-3-1 shape, with support from Adrian Embarba, Jonathan Viera and Leo Baptistao, although Luis Suarez, Luka Romero and Sergio Arribas, who sits level with Baptistao at the top of their scoring charts on six goals for the season, will all push to come back in.

In Gonzalez’s expected absence, Cesar Montes and Chumi should again partner up at the heart of a back four, while Marcos Pena and Lucas Robertone will hope to continue in midfield despite competition from Dion Lopy and Gonzalo Melero.

Mallorca possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Vidal, Gonzalez, Raillo, Nastasic, Lato; Morlanes, Mascarell; Larin, Muriqi, Darder

Almeria possible starting lineup:
Maximiano; Pubill, Montes, Chumi, Langa; Robertone, Lopy; Baptistao, Viera, Arribas; Lozano

SM words green background

We say: Mallorca 2-0 Almeria

While Almeria have improved under Pepe Mel and have continued to show resilience following the confirmation of their relegation, Mallorca should have too much for the visitors on home turf with the chance to put any threat of relegation to bed.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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