Real Madrid have to put thoughts of a Champions League quarterfinal to one side when they take on Mallorca in La Liga on Saturday.
Having disposed of Manchester United in the round of 16, Madrid discovered on Friday that Galatasaray will present the next hurdle to them claiming a 10th European Cup. There is little doubt that realizing that objective is the priority until the end of the campaign.
Madrid have won seven consecutive matches in all competitions to also help lift them into second in the league, but assistant coach Aitor Karanka has said that they will not be taking Mallorca lightly.
“It would be a mistake for us to think that, because we have hit some form and after the games against Barcelona and Manchester, all we have to do to beat Mallorca is turn up,” he said, according to Real Madrid’s official website. “
We will throw everything we have at them to make sure we get the three points. We aren't going to turn our back on the league; since we have been here, we have respected every single competition we have disputed.”
It is the second week running that Madrid will face a team fighting against relegation after they narrowly beat Celta Vigo last time out. Mallorca have won just once in their past seven visits to the Bernabeu, but have claimed two straight victories in the league to take them within two points of safety.
Mallorca’s team news is dominated by suspensions, with midfielders Jose Luis Marti and Javi Marquez missing out but Michael Pereira returning from his ban.
Jose Mourinho will again be without Angel di Maria through injury, but Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos and Fabio Coentrao could all return to the lineup having been rested against Celta.
Real Madrid (probable)
D: Arbeloa, Ramos, Varane, Coentrao
M: Khedira, Alonso
Ozil, Kaka, Ronaldo
D: Hutton, Pedro Geromel, Jose Nunes, Luna
M: Pereira, Tissone, Pina
F: Alfaro, Victor, Santos
Prediction: With an international week on the horizon, Mourinho is likely to field a strong side on Saturday, which is bad news for Mallorca. Madrid have been exceptional at home all season and their current form is equally as impressive meaning it is hard to see anything other than a straightforward win for the hosts.
Real Madrid 3-1 Mallorca
Where to watch: The Liga contest will kick-off at the Bernabeu at 3 p.m. ET. Coverage will be provided by beIN Sport. A live stream, which you view at your own discretion, will be available here.
Sports reporter, mainly focusing on my native sport of soccer, but also dabbling in some tennis and Formula One.