Woes on the Road; What does history tell us?🇬🇧

alaves

A healthy return of ten points in nine games meant Real Mallorca were on track to stay in La Liga. Yet one defeat, away to bottom side Leganes, has set the alarm bells ringing. It is now ten away games spanning six months since Real Mallorca won away from Son Moix. With such woes on the road, I turn to the history books to see what they tell us in the quest for La Liga survival.

Home Sweet Home

Mallorca’s glorious promotion back to La Liga was very much built upon the form at Son Moix. Vicente Moreno’s men lost only twice on the island in 2018-19 and were unbeaten in the Segunda at home in 2019. However, despite this strong home form, Mallorca only secured promotion via the play-offs and even then had to do it with a glorious remontada (comeback) at Son Moix after losing the away leg 2-0 against Deportivo La Coruña.

In that promotion campaign Mallorca won only four times away from the island, two of those wins against sides who were eventually relegated to the Segunda B. Their run without an away win stretches back over six months and their last victory is ten away games ago, that late goal from Leo Suarez securing all three points in La Roseleda against Malaga. Of more concern is that in the nine away games that followed they managed to secure just a point. Even that solitary point came on the final day of the season in a dead rubber with both team’s final places secured.

Has La Liga been any Different?

Whilst it is promising that Mallorca have picked up ten points and are outside the drop zone, they have played more home games (six) than away (four). In their away games so far they have scored twice in four games, those goals from Ante Budimir proved to be too little too late with the side already 3-0 down at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez against Getafe. Whilst few teams take anything from La Mestalla, ironically it was the site of Mallorca’s most encouraging away performance this season. The games away to Deportivo Alaves and Leganes were certainly places that the team should have been taking points if they are to stay in the league this season. Leganes were rock bottom and without a win before defeating Mallorca. Deportivo Alaves are only one point ahead of Mallorca, by virtue of their victory when the two sides met in the Mendizorrotza Stadium. These games were two big opportunities to pick up points on the road where Mallorca not only left with nothing, but also were below par, seldom threatening the opposition goal.

What can history teach us?

If Mallorca can create a fortress in Son Moix this season then they may be able to survive on the back of their home form. In the last five years in La Liga teams have stayed in the division with between six and 13 points away from home. In 2015-16 Sevilla managed to finish seventh without winning an away game all season. They drew nine times on the road but still challenged for Europe due to their incredible home record of 14 wins and one draw. Whilst that kind of home form is just a pipe dream for Mallorca, they can take more hope from another island side, Las Palmas. In 2015-16 La Union Deportiva managed to amass 39 points and stay in the division having only picked up six points on their travels.

The road map to survival for Mallorca is clear. Strong at home but they must start to pick up points on their travels. Turning 1-0 defeats into draws will be crucial come what May with every point counting towards survival. Mallorca will be hoping that it is a low survival points total this year so that every point they pick up is in effect even more valuable towards their end goal. In 2017-18, 28 points would have seen you survive in the division. However, the bad news for Mallorca is that it looks as if the survival total will be closer to the 40 point mark. In a competitive, unpredictable and congested league table there are just ten points separating relegation and second position. Teams are taking points off each other and this will push that required total higher. With La Liga survival on the line, it is time to end those woes on the road and start picking up points away from the island, starting with Real Valladolid on Sunday.


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@Mallorcalex100

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