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Primera División

  • February 5, 2011
  • • 17:00
  • • Estadio El Sadar, Pamplona (Iruñea)
  • Referee: Ignacio Iglesias
  • • Attendance: 17000
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La Liga Preview: Osasuna – Mallorca

La Liga Preview: Osasuna – Mallorca

Los Rojillos scored a terrific win last weekend and will want to build on their momentum...

Feasted On Merengues

Osasuna scored one of the most memorable results of the season last weekend, when they defeated Real Madrid 1-0 at the Reyno de Navarre, throwing los Blancos’ title hopes to the point of oblivious. Victory was also important for the Pamplona club, who themselves are in the midst of attempting to avoid the drop, and on Saturday they will hope to maintain their momentum against Mallorca.

Only three points outside of the relegation zone, los Rojillos certainly cannot afford to rest on their laurels, but Jose Antonio Camacho’s men have much room for optimism after a polished defensive performance last weekend. After showing fine organisation at the back, Javier Camunas struck the killer blow to the capital men.

Criticised by Cristiano Ronaldo for an overly aggressive approach, Osasuna’s players have laughed off such claims from the Portuguese winger. “Madrid know perfectly well that we did things better than them and that’s why we won the game,” Camunas claimed to Marca. “Madrid cannot make excuses with the players we have.”

With a wind of positivism in their sails, Osasuna will hope to build upon victory over los Blancos in an attempt to eradicate the memories of an eight match winless streak that put them in difficulty in first place.

Start Scoring

While Osasuna’s stock rises, Mallorca’s is sharply sinking. Michael Laudrup’s side weren’t expected to play a great season, but after a positive start to the campaign, hopes had risen on the Balearic Island of potentially getting into the region of last season’s strong finish. These have been dispelled by six defeats in eight matches.

Presently, els Barralets are on a three match losing streak. Defeats against Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in back-to-back weeks might have been anticipated, but the horrendous 4-0 loss against Sporting de Gijon last weekend will be a loss that is hugely damaging to morale.

“The 4-0 defeat was a very hard stick because we had not lost that many goals in our previous 10 matches playing [at the Iberostar Estadi],” Laudrup grumbled at the conclusion of the match. “Football has not changed much, but if team does not win we can be satisfied with the good intention and attitude of the players. The question boils down to scoring goals and we’ve not done that in the last three games.”

With 27 points in the bank, Mallorca are still firmly in the middle of the table, but a continuation of their recent results will see them sucked back into bother, which is the last thing their Danish coach needs. Points on Saturday would be very welcome.


TEAM NEWS

Osasuna


It’s been largely good news for los Rojillos on the injury front this week. Nacho Monreal, Javad Nekounam and Masoud Shojaei have all been given the thumbs up to play this weekend. Ruper and Alvaro Cejudo remain absent.

Damia is suspended.

Mallorca

New signing Akihiro Ienaga has expressed his interest in debuting at the weekend. No fresh selection issues have been named, and the squad is boosted by the return of Ivan Ramis from suspension.

On the other hand, Pierre Webo, Nunes and Joao Victor will all sit out injured.


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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-RicardoGoalkeeper
22NélsonDefender
4Miguel FlañoDefender
-SergioDefender
17MonrealDefender
18Javi CamuñasMidfielder
10Patxi PuñalMidfielder
6SorianoMidfielder
11CoroStriker
-PandianiStriker
9Carlos ArandaStriker
1Asier RiesgoGoalkeeper
-JosetxoDefender
15OierDefender
5Manuel Ortiz ToribioMidfielder
-Javier CallejaMidfielder
23Krisztian VadoczMidfielder
-Dejan LekicStriker
13Dudú AouateGoalkeeper
-Pablo CendrósDefender
-RubénDefender
21Iván RamisDefender
23KevinDefender
33Jonathan De GuzmánMidfielder
19Josep Lluis MartíMidfielder
18Chory CastroMidfielder
8NsueStriker
7Michael PereiraMidfielder
-Sergio TejeraMidfielder
13Germán Darí­o LuxGoalkeeper
21AyozeDefender
5Tomás PinaMidfielder
15AbdónMidfielder
14Akihiro IenagaMidfielder
-Sergi EnrichStriker
Players to Watch
Carlos Aranda
Carlos Aranda
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The performance of Aranda against Real Madrid might not have been match-winning, but it was excellent. A hugely industrious presence in attack, the striker created the Camunas’ goal last weekend and nearly produced a second for Krisztian Vadocz. He cannot rest on his laurels, and another big showing is needed.
Chory Castro
Chory Castro
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 18
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Jonathan de Guzman has a big role to play in the centre of the field, where he is deprived of Joao Victor to partner him. The Dutchman has generally made a positive impression since joining Mallorca, but it’s in games such as this that he really needs to impose himself. Likely to play a deep lying role in the midfield, he must set the tempo of the game.
Prediction
After last weekend’s magnificent success, it would be a huge let down if Osasuna were to slip unexpectedly at the hands of Mallorca. The Islanders haven’t been playing impressively of late, and the hosts will expected to earn three more points.
Editor's Prediction

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