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Primera División

  • March 24, 2012
  • • 17:00
  • • Iberostar Estadi, Palma de Mallorca
  • Referee: Miguel Ángel Ayza Gámez
  • • Attendance: 22284
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Mallorca - Barcelona Preview: Catalan giants can close gap on Real Madrid to three points with victory in Palma

Mallorca - Barcelona Preview: Catalan giants can close gap on Real Madrid to three points with victory in Palma

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After back-to-back slip-ups from their arch-rivals, Pep Guardiola's side can put themselves right back in the Liga title race with a win at the Iberostar stadium


PROBABLE LINEUPS

MALLORCA

Aouate
Chico, Nunes, Ramis, Caceres
Marti, Tissone
Pereira, Alvaro, Castro
Casadesus
BARCELONA

Valdes
Busquets, Pique, Puyol
Fabregas, Xavi, Keita, Iniesta
Sanchez, Messi, Pedro

Mallorca welcome back key trio Ivan Ramis, Michael Pereira and Chori Castro from suspension for Saturday's visit of Barcelona.

Sergio Tejera (hamstring) and Marvin Ogunjimi (ankle) are both out, while Pedro Bigas is suspended.

Barcelona utility man Adriano is sidelined through a muscle injury sustained in Tuesday's 5-3 win over Granada.

The Brazilian's absence leaves coach Pep Guardiola with a selection headache in defence, with both Dani Alves and Javier Mascherano also unavailable through suspension.

Sergio Busquets could be pushed into defensive duty alongside Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique in a 3-4-3 formation, with Seydou Keita continuing in the holding midfield role.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Mallorca are on a four-game unbeaten run in La Liga (W2, D2).
  • The islanders have failed to score in just one of their last eight matches in La Liga.
  • Chico (pictured right) had a brief stint with the Barcelona B team in 2008, making 13 appearances and scoring two goals.
  • Barcelona are on a six-match winning streak in La Liga.
  • The Catalans have dropped 18 points this season, two at Camp Nou and 16 away from home.
  • Lionel Messi has netted an incredible 17 goals in his last seven games for Barca.

Related

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
13Dudú AouateGoalkeeper
21Iván RamisDefender
4ChicoDefender
33Pablo CáceresDefender
16NunesDefender
7Michael PereiraMidfielder
18Chory CastroMidfielder
19Josep Lluis MartíMidfielder
23Fernando TissoneMidfielder
19Ví­ctorStriker
27ÁlvaroStriker
1Juan Calatayud SánchezGoalkeeper
2Gianni ZuiverloonDefender
-Pablo CendrósDefender
5Tomás PinaMidfielder
8NsueStriker
16Tomer HemedStriker
21AlfaroStriker
12Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
3PiquéDefender
5Carles PuyolDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
16BusquetsMidfielder
9Alexis SánchezStriker
10MessiStriker
7PedroStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
5MuniesaDefender
2MontoyaDefender
6XaviMidfielder
-Seydou KeitaMidfielder
23CuencaStriker
37TelloStriker
Players to Watch
Josep Lluis Martí
Josep Lluis Martí
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 19
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Thoroughly outplayed by Barcelona at Camp Nou earlier this season en route to a 5-0 rout, Mallorca will need a better performance from the veteran midfielder if they are to enjoy a more favourable result on Saturday. The former Sevilla man has excellent tactical awareness and will be key in retaining possession from the visitors.
Messi
Messi
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
1 2 0 0
Barca's all-time top scorer at the age of 24, the Argentine is in the kind of goalscoring form that can only be described as unplayable. With 54 goals in all competitions, the little genius has already found the back of the net more times in a single campaign than anyone else in La Liga history - and there is still nearly a quarter of the season left to play.
Prediction
Mallorca took a significant step towards securing their top-flight status with a hard-fought win at Sporting Gijon in midweek, but will be up against it against the free-scoring Catalans. The visitors can round out a perfect week for them by winning their seventh straight Liga match and really turning up the heat on leaders Real Madrid, who host Real Sociedad a couple of hours later.
Editor's Prediction

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