Real Madrid-Mallorca Preview: Mourinho's side look to close gap on Barcelona
Los Blancos climbed above city rivals Atletico Madrid in the Primera Division table with their win at Celta Vigo last Sunday and now have the Liga leaders in their sights
By Karthick Arvinth
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos is expected to start Saturday's clash against Mallorca after recovering from a shoulder injury.
Angel Di Maria is out with a hamstring problem and, along with long-term injury victim Iker Casillas, is the only confirmed absentee for the Santiago Bernabeu clash.
Midfielders Jose Luis Marti and Javi Marquez miss out for Mallorca through suspension, but Michael Pereira returns following a one-match ban.
On-loan defender Pedro Geromel has recovered from a hamstring problem and is likely to partner Jose Nunes in central defence.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid are on a six-match winning run in all competitions.
- Los Merengues are on a 36-match unbeaten run at the Santiago Bernabeu across all competitions (W29, D7).
- Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured, right) has scored 19 goals in 16 appearances for Madrid in 2013.
- Mallorca have lost four of their last five matches away from home in La Liga.
- Mallorca's last Liga win at the Bernabeu was a 3-1 success in May 2009.
|Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid CF 3-0 Mallorca
- 15.37 %
Real Madrid CF 4-0 Mallorca
- 10.98 %
Real Madrid CF 3-1 Mallorca
- 10.38 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 16, 2013||Real Madrid CF 5 - Mallorca 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Oct 28, 2012||Mallorca 0 - Real Madrid CF 5|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||May 13, 2012||Real Madrid CF 4 - Mallorca 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 14, 2012||Mallorca 1 - Real Madrid CF 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 23, 2011||Real Madrid CF 1 - Mallorca 0|
|Real Madrid CF|
|Mar 2, 2014||Atletico Madrid 2 - Real Madrid CF 2||LIGA|
|Feb 26, 2014||Schalke 04 1 - Real Madrid CF 6||UCL|
|Feb 22, 2014||Real Madrid CF 3 - Elche 0||LIGA|
|Feb 16, 2014||Getafe 0 - Real Madrid CF 3||LIGA|
|Feb 11, 2014||Atletico Madrid 0 - Real Madrid CF 2||ESPC|
|25||Diego López Rodríguez||Goalkeeper|
|17||Giovani dos Santos||Striker|
|1||Juan Calatayud Sánchez||Goalkeeper|
|-||Andreu Fontàs Prat||Defender|
The Portugal star's 19 goals in 16 club appearances in 2013 marks his best ever start to a calendar year, bettering his previous best of 15 goals in 2012. Ronaldo will look to add to his 26 Liga goals this season as Real Madrid set about clawing back their 13-point deficit from Barcelona.
The 26-year-old winger scored both goals in the 2-1 win against former club Sevilla last Saturday to take Mallorca within two points of 17th-placed Real Zaragoza in the Liga standings. Alfaro will look to get the better of a Madrid backline that has failed to keep a clean sheet in its last five outings.
With no midweek fixture to distract them, Madrid will go all out to record a big win and put some pressure on Barcelona, who play on Sunday. Mallorca travel to the Bernabeu after back-to-back wins over Granada and Sevilla, but they will have to work very hard to subdue the home side's attacking threat.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed