The storied Spanish football club Real Madrid will host Mallorca on Wednesday in a La Liga match at the iconic Santiago Bernabéu stadium in Madrid. This highly anticipated match pits the La Liga leaders Real Madrid against the mid-table Mallorca in what is expected to be an exciting contest.
Real Madrid come into this match in stellar form, having not lost a match across all competitions since September. Their record of 14 wins and 3 draws over their last 17 matches is a testament to their consistency and dominance this season. Under manager Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid have crafted a winning mentality that has propelled them to the top of the La Liga table. With 45 points from 18 matches, they currently hold a 7-point lead over second placed Atlético Madrid.
A major reason behind Real Madrid’s success has been their incredibly potent attack, led by the likes of Karim Benzema, Vinícius Júnior and Rodrygo. Benzema, the reigning Ballon d’Or winner, has continued his goal-scoring heroics from last season. Despite being troubled by injuries, the French striker has still managed to score 13 goals in just 12 appearances. Vinícius Júnior has built on his breakout 2021-22 campaign to establish himself as one of the most dangerous forwards in Europe. The 22-year-old Brazilian international already has 10 goals and 6 assists to his name this season. Meanwhile, the equally talented Rodrygo has contributed 7 goals from the right wing.
Real Madrid’s defense has also looked rock solid, with stalwarts like David Alaba, Ferland Mendy and Aurelien Tchouameni expertly protecting veteran goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian shot-stopper remains one of the best in the business, having conceded just 13 goals in 18 La Liga matches this season.
The Mallorca players certainly have their task cut out when they take on this Real Madrid juggernaut at the Bernabéu. That said, the islanders have hit a decent run of form themselves heading into this fixture. Unbeaten in their last 6 league matches, Mallorca have clawed their way up to 11th place under Mexican manager Javier Aguirre.
Mallorca rely heavily on a compact, organized style of play, maintaining their shape diligently to frustrate opponents. 35-year-old holding midfielder Baba has been instrumental to Mallorca’s defensive solidity, using his experience to snuff out opposition attacks. South Korean center-back Kang-in Lee has also impressed at the back with his tenacious defending.
In attack, Mallorca have an intriguing blend of youth and experience. Polish striker Kacper Przybyłko leads the line at 29 years of age, bringing intelligent hold-up play and aerial presence. On the wings, the talented Lee Kang-in and 22-year-old Amath Ndiaye provide pace and directness. The creativity comes from Spanish playmaker Dani Rodriguez, who has 2 goals and 4 assists this season.
Mallorca pulled off a dramatic 3-2 victory over Osasuna in their last La Liga outing. After conceding early from a set piece, Mallorca bounced back emphatically through goals from Ndiaye, Przybylko and Lee. This spirited comeback underscored the determination and self-belief that Mallorca have developed over the past few weeks.
Against Real Madrid though, Mallorca will need to deliver an extremely disciplined defensive performance just to stay in the game. Ancelotti’s side have blown away far stronger opponents at the Bernabéu this season with their attacking brilliance. Mallorca’s best hope lies in frustrating Real Madrid through congesting the central areas and denying space to the likes of Modric and Kroos to operate.
On offense, Mallorca must make the most of whatever limited opportunities come their way. Clinical finishing will be key – they simply cannot afford to squander any potential chances. The pace of Ndiaye could pose some problems for Madrid’s center-backs on the counter. Meanwhile, Rodriguez’s set piece delivery could also be an avenue to score against a usually airtight Real Madrid defense.
Ultimately though, very few opponents have succeeded in emerging from the Bernabéu with anything other than defeat this season. Real Madrid’s devastating attacking quality coupled with their rock-solid defense should prove too much for Mallorca to handle. The La Liga leaders are expected to secure a comfortable victory to consolidate their position at the top of the table.
Anticipated Starting Lineups:
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Mendy; Valverde, Tchouameni, Kroos; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinicius Jr
Mallorca (4-4-2): Rajkovic; Gonzalez, Valjent, Raillo, Costa; Sanchez, Baba, Battaglia, Rodriguez; Lee, Muriqi
Real Madrid – Karim Benzema: The French striker remains Real Madrid’s talisman and chief goal-scoring threat. If Benzema shakes off his recent injury issues to start this game, his combination play and finishing could rip apart Mallorca’s defense.
Mallorca – Dani Rodriguez: The creative lynchpin for Mallorca in midfield. Rodriguez’s passing range and set-piece delivery could unlock Real Madrid’s otherwise watertight backline.
Predicted Score: Real Madrid 3-0 Mallorca
Real Madrid should have too much attacking firepower for Mallorca to handle and will likely ease to a comfortable victory at home. Mallorca’s best hope is to remain organized defensively and avoid a thrashing. Still, containing the likes of Benzema and Vinicius Jr for 90 minutes at the Bernabéu seems an almost impossible task. Expect Ancelotti’s men to eventually break down Mallorca’s stubborn resistance en route to a convincing win.