Barcelona They’re defending the lead in Mallorca
LaLiga Santander is back and the league leaders Barcelona will continue their mission to retain their title in Mallorca, taking on the islanders on Saturday evening.
With such a slender lead over Real Madrid of just two points, the Blaugrana can’t afford to slip up much at all over the remaining 11 rounds.
They have 11 ‘finals’ ahead, but the good news for coach Quique Setien is that he’ll be able to use Luis Suarez for the first time.
The Uruguayan had to go for surgery in January after the Supercopa de Espana campaign that provoked Ernesto Valverde’s sacking, but now he is back and can play alongside Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann again.
In the first meeting of the season between these two teams, the MSG front three were brilliant as they won 5-2, with Messi scoring a hat-trick and the Frenchman and Uruguayan having one each.
It’s not just Suarez who is back, as Setien has almost all his team available.
Only the long-term injured Ousmane Dembele and the suspended Clement Lenglet will be out.
At Real Mallorca, meanwhile, they only have injuries at one position.
Unfortunately for them, that position is left-back, the part of the pitch where Messi will be lurking, as both Lumor Agbenyenu and Leonardo Koutris are out injured.
Coach Vicente Moreno is quietely confident, though, believing that many of his players came back in an even better state than before the coronavirus pause.
Real Mallorca will be out to try to claim another scalp, after also beating Real Madrid at Son Moix earlier in the season.
Not since 2009 have Real Mallorca beaten Barcelona, although it’s true that Pep Guardiola’s Blaugrana side were missing Messi that day.
Now, they’ll be looking for another three-point haul, as Real Mallorca have their own 11 ‘finals’ in their relegation scrap.