RCD Mallorca – UD Almeria: Another Challenger Calls 🇬🇧

This Sunday RCD Mallorca must sweep away the disappointment of the death of their automatic promotion hopes as they prepare to face yet another challenger for the top six at Son Moix. Like Sporting de Gijon two weeks ago, UD Almeria visit Mallorca looking to peg back their rival for the top six. For RCD Mallorca, another challenger calls and another big game beckons as they seek to maintain their play off position.

The old English saying «come what May» comes to the fore at this stage of the season, even though the Segunda season finishes in June. This is the business end of the season, the time of year where championships are won and lost, play off places secured and salvation from relegation achieved. The teams that perform in May tend to be those for whom success comes. So far this May, RCD Mallorca have won at home and lost away, a summary of their season in 180 minutes. They will be hoping that they can continue the trend on Sunday and push themselves one step closer to the promotion play offs.

Calculators at the Ready

It is also the time of the season where fans and pundits will be furiously calculating the various permutations of what is possible and what is not. Whilst mathematically possible, automatic promotion is almost certainly a pipe dream with second placed Granada 7 points ahead with 12 to play for. Even if they falter, Albacete Balompie will take that space ahead of Mallorca.

More relevant to the Vermillion once more is nervously looking over their shoulder at the chasing pack. Defeat for Mallorca on Sunday could lead to them dropping out of the top six with just three games remaining if results go against them. Their two remaining home games will be stern tests of their proud unbeaten 2019 home record, starting with UD Almeria, closely followed by automatic promotion chasing Granada in two weeks time. They are likely to need to win at least one, unable to rely on their away performances to bring any points. Deportivo La Coruna next week is another play off contender desperate for points, and RCD Mallorca fans will be hoping that Extremadura will be safe by the final day and on the beach.

It isn’t only RCD Mallorca who will be looking at the various permutations. For UD Almeria, Sunday is their last chance saloon when it comes to finishing in a play off spot. Defeat would see UD Almeria mathematically unable to reach the top six if Cadiz draw, due to Cadiz having the advantage over the two games in the goal average. A team who knows it is all or nothing is yet another dangerous opponent for the Vermillion.

73 points is the magic number that will mean RCD Mallorca are certain of finishing in the top six. Currently they sit on 64 points, 9 points or 3 wins away from the magic number. However, it is highly unlikely that Malaga, Cadiz and Deportivo La Coruna will take a full compliment from their remaining games so that required number will likely fall short of 73 points. The focus on Sunday will be solely on beating UD Almeria and eliminating another challenger for the top 6 from the race. If ever there was a weekend to take all 3 points and calm the nerves of the Mallorca fans, it was this one.

Real Mallorca Team News – The Spine Returns

Notable by their absence last weekend and clearly pivotal to the Mallorca’s consistent performance level, Dani Rodriguez returns to the engine room of the side and Antonio Raillo to central defence. The two were sorely missed in the key moments last week. Pervis Estupiñan continues his recovery at Son Biblioni and isn’t expected to be ready to start just yet. With three games and a potential further four play off games to go, there is no rush for the left back to return just yet. Leo Suarez is certain to drop to the bench after another ineffective performance when handed a starting place.

I seem to have written this next sentence every week for a month now, but Ante Budimir´s current form will be concerning Vicente Moreno. Abdon Prats continues to impress when introduced and will have done no harm to his chances of starting with another goal last week which almost salvaged a point for Mallorca.

The Form

RCD Mallorca come into this game on the back of a damaging defeat to Gimnastic de Tarragona away from home. However, their home for has been nothing short of sensational and has carried them through to the 4th position they currently possess. They have 14 wins, 3 draws and 2 defeats at Son Moix this season and are unbeaten at home in 2019.

UD Almeria have goals aplenty in them. 5 of their last 7 games have had 3 or more goals in them and they came out on top in an 8 goal thriller at home to Elche last weekend after going 2-0 down. RCD Mallorca have a mean defensive record at home but UD Almeria seem to have taken a much more gung ho approach to their games of late in order to secure the 3 points as they chase 6th position. UD Almeria have one win in the last 5 games on their travels.

Prediction

RCD Mallorca are strong at home but UD Almeria will come out looking for all three points as they are in last chance saloon. An opponent with nothing to lose is a dangerous one. However, Almeria’s away record is only slightly better than that of RCD Mallorca’s this season so I expect Mallorca to take the points if they can get the two goals I expect them to need against their free scoring opponents.

RCD Mallorca 2 – 1 UD Almeria

The Rivals

The sun has set on Mallorca’s hopes of the top two as Granada and Albacete Balompie fight it out for that coveted second position. Both sides will want to avoid the lottery of the play offs and as a result will not drop sufficient points to be caught by anyone sitting behind them.

The Top Six
5th placed Malaga got the result they needed last weekend which put them back into the top six. They have the luxury of picking up 3 points without leaving the sofa this weekend due to their scheduled fixture being against Reus. They may have climbed above RCD Mallorca by the end of the weekend unless Mallorca can draw or better. Cadiz, sitting in 6th, play leaders Osasuna who can confirm themselves as both champions and promoted if the results fall right for them. Mallorca fans will be hoping for the party to start for Osasuna on Sunday early evening.

The Chasers
Deportivo La Coruna, in 7th, face a tricky trip to Lugo who are fighting their battle against relegation to the death. Real Oviedo face Numancia at home, another relegation threatened side. Sporting de Gijon, level on points with RCD Mallorca’s opponents UD Almeria, also find themselves in the same last chance saloon. Their promotion push could be over before the weekend begins as they kick off at 9pm Friday evening.

Prediction record

Correct Result 4/10
Correct Scoreline 1/10

CD Tenerife (a)
Predicted – Win
Result- 2-2 Draw

Elche CF (h)
Predicted – 2-1 Win
Result – 1-1 Draw

Real Oviedo (h)
Predicted – 1-1 Draw
Result – 1-0

UD Las Palmas (a)
Predicted 2-0
Result 1-2

Real Zaragoza (h)
Predicted 1-0
Result 3-0

Cordoba CF (a)
Predicted 1 – 2
Result 3 – 2

CF Numancia (a)
Predicted 1 – 1
Result 1 – 1

CF Rayo Majadahonda (h)
Predicted 2 – 1
Result 2 – 0
(Reina saved penalty)

Malaga CF (a)
Predicted 2 – 0
Result 0 – 1

Sporting Gijon (h)
Predicted 1 – 0
Result 2 – 1

Gimnastic de Tarragona (a)
Predicted 0 – 2
Result 2 – 1

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