Alex Fitzpatrick, Former LaLiga TV pitch side reporter for Real Mallorca, Presenter of ‘The Spanish Segunda Show’ (@SegundaSpanish)
There has been a big drop-off in terms of wins compared to last season. What's the main reason they've been struggling and what’s the fans’ assessment of the season so far?
Last season Mallorca’s home form was excellent and Son Moix a real fortress. Many of those wins were 1-0 and hard-fought in tight games. This season those tight games have been falling against Mallorca or ending in a draw rather than a narrow home win, in fact Mallorca are still winless at home this season but have only been beaten once at home.
The major reason for this has been the huge loss of Kang in Lee who was sold to PSG in the summer. He provided numerous assists and was the danger man who unlocked the opposition defence and provided chances for Muriqi last season. His replacement, Sergio Darder from Espanyol, is yet to really get going so far as creative spark is concerned.
Mallorca have drawn eight games and four out of six losses have been decided by only one goal. Is there a feeling that Mallorca have been unlucky this season?
Like every team, there have been moments that the club could point to that have hamstrung them in certain games; penalties missed in the opening games of the season, red cards and non VAR intervention at key moments. However, this team plays on fine margins and their strategy is to keep it tight and win it with one goal. Last season the clean sheets were plentiful and therefore just one goal would often be enough. This season Mallorca have been hit with injuries in key positions and haven’t been as good in either penalty box as they were in 22-23.
Mallorca have only beaten Sevilla once this century at home. Do Sevilla have the reputation as being tough visitors when we come to the island?
Sevilla, like all of the big clubs in Spain, are a tough side to beat and always good opponents. Their recent record at Son Moix has been good and last season they came out on top 0-1 in one of those marginal games that Javier Aguirre likes his teams to play. There is definitely the impression that in recent years Sevilla have coupled quality with grit, against Mallorca at least, where other top sides have sometimes come to the island and not been as successful at combatting Aguirre’s game plan.
What style of play to the team have under Javier Aguirre?
Aguirre quickly implemented a 532 formation where the emphasis is on defensive solidity, competitiveness and hard work first and foremost. The attacking strategy consists of hitting opponents on the break and finding the centre forwards with crosses. The wing backs, usually Maffeo and Costa, play a crucial role in attack and defence.
Strike partnership Abdón Prats and Vedat Muriqi have scored the vast majority of Mallorca’s goals this campaign, is stopping them the key?
Mallorca’s biggest strength, the goals of this pair, is also their biggest weakness. There is an over reliance on this pair for goals and not enough goals are spread around the team. Stopping these two would go a long way towards winning the match for Sevilla. Summer signing from Real Valladolid, Kyle Larin, has started slowly with fitness and confidence issues and is yet to score in the league, but has shown a glimmer of improvement in recent games. Outside of the two forwards, Mallorca’s biggest threat is a goal from a set piece or the late arrival into the box of veteran midfielder Dani Rodriguez, if selected, to score from around the penalty spot.
The preview of
RCD Mallorca-Sevilla FC, on the sixteenth LaLiga EA Sports matchday which will kick off at Son Moix at 21:00.
The home side come into the game in seventeenth place, one place above the relegation zone on 11 points with a record of one win and eight draws. We come into the game on 13 points, two more that the hosts and in fifteenth place.
RCD Mallorca 0-0 Getafe CF
Real Betis 2-0 RCD Mallorca
Atlético Madrid 1-0 RCD Mallorca
RCD Mallorca 1-1 Cádiz CF
RCD Mallorca 0-0 Deportivo Alavés
The last three meetings
19/20: RCD Mallorca 0-2 Sevilla FC
21/22 RCD Mallorca 1-1 Sevilla FC
22/23 RCD Mallorca 0-1 Sevilla FC
With Nyland, Jesús Navas, Nianzou, Badé, Acuña, Fernando, Suso, Lamela and Mariano all unavailable the squad is as follows: Dmitrovic, Alberto Flores, Rafa Romero, Juanlu, Darío Benavides, Sergio Ramos, Marcao, Gudelj, Gattoni, Kike Salas, Pedrosa, Soumaré, Sow, Jordán, Rakitic, Óliver Torres, Manu Bueno, Ocampos, Januzaj, Lukebakio, En-Nesyri and Rafa Mir.
The referee will be Alberola Rojas, del Comité. Gil Manzano is on VAR duty.