Real Madrid Vs. Mallorca, La Liga 2013: Routine Liga Match

Denis Doyle

Real Madrid takes on Mallorca (20:00) with Ramos, Varane and Coentrao back on the team's list. Albiol, Callejón, Essien and Di María will not be able to feature, as Mourinho left them out of the squad for this match. Mallorca is in a dangeorus situation, ranked 18th in the table and in the relegation zone. Gregorio Manzano returned to the club after the board decided to fire Joaquín Caparrós.

It might not be easy for Mourinho's men to play this game with the Champions League tie on their minds. Still, Real Madrid will have to get the work done and use this match to prepare players like Marcelo and Benzema for the most important moment of the season. Both of them played well against Vigo, and they might have another chance to show they're ready to contribute and help the team.

Mallorca is walking the fine line between keeping the division and relegating to La Liga Adelante. They have some deep financial problems, and that's something that certainly affected the players under Joaquín Caparrós. Jokin is a great coach, and even though he started the season well enough, the team soon got caught in a bad streak. Gio dos Santos and Gregorio Manzano are trying to keep the boat floating, and after a last-minute goal against Osasuna some weeks ago, Mallorca is now two points away from Zaragoza.

Manzano will surely try to play defensively, and that's something Caparrós failed in the previous meeting of these two teams. Modric played one of his finest games of the season at Mallorca and the team was able to win 0-5. Still, this game will likely be different, as dos Santos and his teammates can't afford to lose any more points.

Real Madrid finally recovered the second position in La Liga's table after Atlético Madrid's defeat against Real Sociedad. But with the Champions League tie against Galatasaray just a couple of weeks ahead, Mourinho might still use La Liga to make rotations and recover some key players that weren't playing well lately. That's the case of Benzema and Marcelo.

This match could also be Varane and Ramos' return to the lineup. Both of them are competing with Pepe for two spots in the center back position against Galatasaray. Given how well Varane has been playing (and reacting from the press' compliments), it'll be hard for Mourinho not to give him another chance. But Pepe and Ramos' partnership was so successful last season that The Special One could be thrilled about having both of them ready to play again.

As always, it'll be important to score early in the game to prevent Mallorca from believing they have a chance. The Santiago Bernabéu will have the chance to give an standing ovation to the players after their heroic win at the Old Trafford.

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