RCD Mallorca vs Real Madrid | Preview
Finally it is here. The 2010-11 season of the Spanish Primera División has kicked off and Real Madrid start their campaign later tonight at the ONO Estadi against Real Club Deportivo Mallorca in what would be the first official match of Real Madrid under the reign of manager Jose Mourinho.
Real start their journey towards their 33rd League title with six new additions to the squad and under a new manager. Angel Di Maria, Pedro Leon, Sami Khedira, Ricardo Carvalho and Mesut Ozil have all been drafted in during the transfer window with the legendary Raul and Guti exiting the club they had played all their life for new challenges away from Spain. Manuel Pellegrini who took us to our best finish ever in the league last season failed to win a single trophy and was sacked as the treble winning Jose Mourinho was signed as Real’s new manager from FC Internazionale Milano.
Mourinho’s Real have had a pretty solid preseason which saw them lift three trophies in Munich, Hercules and at home in the 32nd edition of the Santiago Bernabeu Trophy against Penarol. The tour of United States of America too was successful as Real won both their games there against Club America and Los Angeles Galaxy respectively. Their only draw came against Standard Liege at Liege where they drew 1-1.
The club has pinned a lot of hopes on Jose Mourinho, known worldwide as ‘The Special One’ to bring to the Santiago Bernabeu the major trophies, something which we haven’t won in two years. Like the manager himself admitted earlier in the week in a press conference, the club has indeed spent a lot bringing in a lot of youngsters to replace the old ones a few who were even deemed irreplaceable. We fans likewise too have a lot of hope and I personally am seeing Mourinho as the only one who can bring back to Real the glory days that we are all used to and end the barren spell of not winning Europe’s finest competition, something which we have won more than any other club in the world.
With such high hopes on his shoulders, Jose seems to be as calm as he always is and seems to be doing a good job till now. But all that wouldn’t matter when we face up against Michael Laudrup’s Mallorca.
Mallorca are about to start their 14th consecutive season in the First Division. Having been dumped by UEFA from participating in this season’s Europa League, despite finishing fifth in La Liga, Mallorca begin their campaign with the sole goal being to avoid relegation. Mallorca too like Real have made several changes to their squad. Key players like Aritz Aduriz, Borja Valero, Mario Suarez, Julio Alvarez and Mattioni have been replaced by Jonathan de Guzman, Cendros, Brazilians Joao Victor and Edson Ramos, and Fernando Cavenaghi. Emilio Nsue too has returned to the team this summer following his loan spell at Real Sociedad last year.
More than the trouble posed by Mallorca themselves, Real have other worries. As many as seven first team players are out injured including a few who are facing a long spell out. Pepe, Kaka, Garay, Albiol, Gago, Diarra (who would probably be leaving us soon) are all unavailable due to injury. Kaka, Garay and Gago are ones out with long term injuries. Drenthe has been excluded from the squad list whereas Castilla’s Mateos has been included.
SQUAD LIST :
Goalkeepers: Casillas, Dudek, Adan
Defenders: Carvalho, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Mateos
Midfielders: Khedira, Lass, Granero, Xabi Alonso, Canales, Pedro Leon, Di Maria, Van der Vaart, Ozil
Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuain
Mallorca have only one injury woe as center-back Ivan Ramis will miss the match against due to an injury and it is still uncertain if Fernando Cavenaghi will make his debut against the Whites.
The last time both sides clashed in Mallorca was on 5 May 2010, resulting in a 4-1 victory for the Madridistas with Cristiano Ronaldo scoring his only hat-trick till date and a solitary goal from Gonzalo Higuain. Pipita, speaking about the match ahead of the game to bwin.com, stressed on how important it is to win the first game, saying:
It is going to be a very important and exciting game. It is vital to start the season with a victory. We will have to fight their tactics with our own style. What we want is to win at Son Moix. We have a team capable earning the three points.
His partner up front, Karim Benzema, too spoke to AS about his hopes and aspirations for the season in an interview with AS.
Real would be hoping the two strikers really get going this season as they need it if they have any hopes of winning titles. The other attacking prospects too would be keenly observed as Mourinho begins a new era at Real. We might not play as beautifully as Barcelona does but we surely would get to know how we win games. That said, now I feel we do have all the qualities that a team needs to play good attractive football as well as the match winners that every team needs to win those games which decide the fate of the title.
I am not hoping for the treble nor am I expecting Real to play attractive football. All that I am expecting from this season is for us to show some sign of improvement and stability and justify the changes made during the season break.
Prediction: RCD Mallorca 0-2 Real Madrid
Para Siempre Blanco!