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.
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.
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.
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.