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Real Madrid vs Mallorca, Match Preview, La Liga 2023 - 2024

Ancelotti has all but four players available for the first game of 2024

Real Mallorca v Real Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Real Madrid will look to start the new year with a bang when they host Mallorca at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday. Carlo Ancelotti’s men, top of the table, are unbeaten in all but one match this season, having not lost since dropping three points in the Madrid Derby back in September. They have also conceded the fewest goals (11) in the league, and are now favourites for the title.

Mallorca, on the other hand, are just below mid-table and are five points clear of the relegation zone, but are in good form, having gone unbeaten in their last six matches.

The history between the two sides is skewed in favor of Real Madrid, but perhaps not as much as you’d expect. Real have won 23 and lost 12 of their last 40 meetings against Mallorca. The last time they faced each other, Real Madrid lost 1 - 0 away, in an ugly game marred by physical and racist abuse towards Vinicius Jr. It was not the first time Vinicius experienced racist abuse from Mallorca fans, and last season’s debacle prompted an investigation where authorities were able to identify some of the racist fans.

For this match, Real Madrid will be without four key players due to injuries. Three of them are standing long term injuries: David Alaba, Eder Militao, Thibaut Courtois. Meanwhile, Ferland Mendy did not train with the team today and will not be back in time.

Real Madrid missing four defensive pillars due to injury is certainly nothing to celebrate, however, it is good news that Arda Güler is finally in the squad, while Vinicius Jr and Eduardo Camavinga have also returned from their respective injuries. Carlo Ancelotti’s main problem for tomorrow is that Nacho Fernandez is suspended, which leaves Aurelien Tchouameni as a makeshift center-back alongside Antonio Rudiger.

Mallorca meanwhile, will be without both Jaume Costa and Vedat Muriqi — the latter of which has given Real Madrid problems in the past with his aerial presence.

Real Madrid are expected to win this game despite their injuries and suspensions, but Mallorca have proven to be a tricky match-up in the past. Expect them to be very physical and compact against Ancelotti’s men.

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