Barcelona vs Real Mallorca Prediction: Don’t be surprised if Barca fail to win

 | March 07 | 

7 mins read

mack sochon la liga tips

The Friday night offering from La Liga comes from the Camp Nou as third-placed Barcelona take on 15th-placed Real Mallorca to open Matchday 28. The game will be broadcast live on Viaplay Sports 1 with a kick-off time slated for 20:00.

Our Spanish Football expert Mark Sochon preview the action and picks out his two Best Bets from the match as part of his Barcelona vs Real Mallocra predictions for us here at Betfred Insights...

Barcelona vs Real Mallorca Betting Tips:

  • Mallorca or Draw Double Chance @ 13/8
  • Highest Scoring Half - Second Half @ Evens

Barcelona host Mallorca on Friday night, ahead of what may prove to be a season-defining week with games against Napoli and Atlético Madrid likely to determine whether there’s any hope of a bright ending to Xavi’s reign.

The chances of that look a lot slimmer following the events of last weekend. Away in Bilbao against an Athletic side that had made seven changes following a cup game three days earlier, Barca had a real opportunity to close the gap on Real Madrid who had dropped points the night before.

However, the Catalans were rocked by First Half injuries to Pedri and Frenkie de Jong and looked totally devoid of any real creative threat after that in a poor performance in a match that ended goalless.

With both of those players out until after the international break, that presents a massive problem for Xavi who was already missing one midfielder regular with Gavi having torn his ACL.

The Barcelona boss will be cursing his luck, having finally stumbled on something closer to a winning formula with Pedri operating on the left of a front three, effectively adding an extra midfielder and a bit more solidity into a team that had been leaking too many goals.

They were impressive 4-0 victors over Getafe in their last home game with João Félix enjoying one his best days in a Barcelona shirt. Xavi may now have little choice but to depend on his inconsistent Portuguese forward over the coming week and it’s a big opportunity for Felix to make his mark and improve his chances of sealing a permanent transfer to the Catalan giants in the summer.

Mallorca have the potential to be awkward opponents for Barcelona in this game. They’ll certainly be in good spirits right now after two excellent results in their last two games.

They defied the odds to take Real Sociedad to penalties in their Copa del Rey Semi-Final and won the shoot-out to make the Final for the first time in 21 years. Despite reports of celebrations that lasted all night in San Sebastián, they shook off their hangovers to do a job on 2nd placed Girona last weekend in La Liga, winning 1-0 to inflict just a fourth league defeat of the season on Michel’s side.

Mallorca are still only 15th in La Liga which is a big drop-off from last season, but they’re not looking in any immediate relegation danger. With just one defeat in their last six matches in all competitions, they’ll fancy their chances of being the third visiting team to take points off Barca at the Estadi Olimpic in the space of six weeks.

Team News:

The big question for punters here is going to be just who makes Barcelona’s starting eleven. In an ideal world, Xavi would surely have wanted to rest İlkay Gündoğan and Robert Lewandowski, not only the two oldest players in the Barca squad but also the ones to have clocked up the most minutes in La Liga this season.

However, injuries to Frenkie de Jong and Pedri, as well as a suspension for Ronald Araujo, means this will already be a severely depleted Barca eleven. There aren’t many midfield options for Xavi should he want to rest Gundogan ahead of the Napoli tie. He may though opt to give

Vitor Roque a rare start in place of Lewandowski in attack with the Polish striker also just one booking away from a suspension which would rule him out of next week’s trip to Atlético Madrid.

Ferran Torres, Gavi, Marcos Alonso and Alejandro Balde are also still out for Barca who are expected to recall Joao Felix, Lamine Yamal and Fermin Lopez to the starting line-up.

Mallorca are missing midfielder Omar Mascarell to suspension while they have a few defensive injury concerns. Pablo Maffeo and Martin Valjent are both expected to miss the game while last weekend’s match winner Jose Manuel Copete is a doubt.

We can expect a defensive set-up from the away team with Vedat Muriqi likely to lead the line on his own in what might be described as a 3-5-1-1 system with Dani Rodriguez operating behind the big Kosovo striker.

Barcelona vs Real Mallorca Odds:

Barcelona head into the game as the 4/9 favourites with Draw on offer at 7/2. You can back Real Mallorca to become the fourth visiting team to win at the Estadi Olimpic this season at odds of 6/1. Meanwhile, if you fancy the visitors to at least keep it tight, you can back Mallorca +2 Handicap at 4/7.

With a number of absentees and the potential for some rotation, there are some interesting options in the goalscorer markets. João Félix looks nailed on to start the game and he’s 6/1 to score first and 15/8 to score anytime.

Fermin Lopez could also have a big role to play given the midfield issues Barcelona are dealing with. The youngster has shown himself to have an eye for a goal and he’s priced at 100/30 to score anytime.

Vedat Muriqi leads the way as far as the visitors are concerned with the striker priced at 8/1 to score first and 13/5 to score anytime while you can back Mallorca Over 0.5 Goals at 4/6.

Bet 1 - Mallorca or Draw Double Chance @ 13/8

With no Pedri and no Frenkie de Jong, Barcelona have lost the creative heart of their team at just about the worst possible moment and they could find this a frustrating affair against a Mallorca side that tends to operate in a defensive manner with three centre backs whilst also packing the midfield.

They showed their defensive qualities only last weekend when they shut out La Liga top scorers Girona. While we aren’t likely to see too much from Mallorca in an attacking sense in this game, they will feel as though they can still cause problems with the aerial prowess of target man Vedat Muriqi, particularly given Ronald Araujo’s suspension.

With Barca also likely to have a half an eye on their Champions League game next week, I’m backing Mallorca or Draw Double Chance at 13/8.

Bet 2 - Highest Scoring Half - Second Half @ Evens

The stats strongly point to the Second Half being the one more likely to produce goals in this game. 75% of Barca’s home goals this season have come after the interval while 73% of the goals Mallorca have scored away have also come in the Second Half.

It feels highly likely that Mallorca will look to put men behind the ball and it’s not going to be easy for Barca to break them down with two of their more creative players out and with the potential for one or two others to be rested.

Things may open up in the second period though as a draw is no real use to Barcelona who will need to throw caution to the wind. I’m backing Highest Scoring Half - Second Half at Evens, a winning bet in seven of Barca’s last eight matches in all competitions.

You can check out Mark's La Liga Betting Tips along with those from the rest of the Betfred Insights Spanish Football writers on our La Liga home page...

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