Real Madrid vs Mallorca Prediction: Back Jude to score in ITV4 clash

 | January 02 | 

6 mins read

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Real Madrid host Mallorca in La Liga in their opening game of 2024. The good news for UK viewers is that this one is live and free to air on ITV4 with a 18:15 kick-off.

Our La Liga expert Mark Sochon previews this one and picks out his two Best Bets from the encounter...

Real Madrid vs Mallorca Betting Tips:

  • Back Any Player to score a Header @ Evens
  • Back Jude Bellingham to score anytime @ 11/8

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are widely expected to kick off the new year with a win that would temporarily at least see them go ten points clear of both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. However, it’s surprise package Girona who are currently Real Madrid’s closest rivals in this year’s title race.

Both sides have collected 45 points from their opening 18 games but it was far from convincing last time out from Los Blancos. A red card for Nacho, the last thing they needed given their current defensive selection issues, saw Real Madrid play a large chunk of their game away at Alaves with ten men. However Lucas Vazquez was the unlikely late hero with a 92nd minute winner, the only goal in a tight game.

That was one of Real Madrid’s poorest performances in recent weeks, but overall, they look as convincing as they have done at this point in the season for a number of years.

It’s eight wins in nine games in all competitions. They’ve been scoring freely with Jude Bellingham and Rodrygo in great form in front of goal. Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, with a combined age of 71, have shown they are still top level performers in midfield while despite extensive injuries at the back, Real Madrid have by far the best defensive record in La Liga with only 11 conceded.

Things are going so well that Carlo Ancelotti has been rewarded with a new two-year deal. The Italian was widely tipped to leave at the end of this season to take charge of the Brazilian national team but ended 2023 by putting pen to paper on a contract that should extend his stay at the Bernabeu until the end of the 2025/26 season.

Spirits should be high for the visit of Mallorca who have found a bit of form themselves after a really poor start to the campaign. The Balearic Islanders are unbeaten in six in all competitions with seven points from their last three league games to ease themselves away from the relegation zone.

Their last game was an unlikely five-goal thriller as they saw off Osasuna 3-2 at home. However, punters probably shouldn’t read too much into that scoreline.

Even against the lesser sides, they set up in a conservative fashion with three centre-backs and only one striker and we can expect them to put lots of men behind the ball here and look to deny their table topping opponents space in central areas of the pitch.

Prior to the Osasuna match, their previous eight league games had served up just seven goals in total, only two of which were scored by Mallorca players. They may try to find a bit of joy on the break with lone striker Cyle Larin but their most likely path to a breakthrough here may well be from set piece situations which were responsible for two of their three goals last time out.

Team News:

Real Madrid are expected to use midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni at centre-back in this game. That’s due to Nacho’s suspension and the long-term injuries suffered by David Alaba and Eder Militao. It’ll be a test for the young Frenchman, but he has the physical attributes that suggest he should be capable of filling in.

Eduardo Camavinga and Ferland Mendy are other injury absentees for Real Madrid. Meanwhile Ancelotti has confirmed that Andriy Lunin will start in goal with Kepa feeling unwell.

The Real Madrid boss will also have some big decisions to make up front over the next few weeks. Brahim Diaz has done well in combination with Rodrgyo while Joselu has a decent return of eight goals in all competitions despite only starting ten matches. Vinicius Junior is also fit again and could feature in this game, although it may only be off the bench.

As for Mallorca, they travel to Madrid without their suspended left back Jaume Costa. Former Valencia man Toni Lato may fill in while fellow defender Martin Valjent is still injured.

Their main absentee is striker Vedat Muriqi who scored more than 40% of their goals in La Liga last season. The Kosovo international hasn’t played for his club since early November which has given summer signing Cyle Larin a run of games up front, although the Canadian has netted only once.

Real Madrid vs Real Mallorca Odds:

Real Madrid are priced at 2/9 to win the game with Draw available at 5/1 while you can get 12/1 for Real Mallorca to record what would be back-to-back wins over Los Blancos following their 1-0 win in Palma last February.

They’ve lost on their last seven visits to the Santiago Bernabeu, although they have managed to score consolation goals on their last two trips here. You can back Real Madrid and Both Teams to Score at 21/10 if you fancy a repeat on Wednesday.

If you see Real Madrid starting the new year with a bang, you can back Real Madrid to Score Over 3.5 Goals at 3/1. That’s a bet that has landed in four of the last five meetings on this ground, while you can back there to be Over 3.5 Goals in the game at 13/8.

Joselu, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes are all priced at 4/1 to be the first goalscorer with Jude Bellingham available at 9/2. Cyle Larin is 11/1 to score first if you see the visitors taking a shock lead.

Bet 1 - Any Player to Score a Header @ Evens

Real Madrid’s defensive selection issues are the big doubt for punters looking at this game and with a central midfielder expected to play in central defence, Mallorca will fancy they can ask questions from set piece situations where they are strong.

If there’s to be a goal for the visitors, there’s every chance it will come from a header, but Real Madrid are no mugs in the air with eight headed goals so far this season, second only to Getafe in La Liga.

As a result, I’m backing Any Player to Score a Header at Evens in this one with headed opportunities likely at both ends of the pitch.

Bet 2 - Jude Bellingham to Score Anytime @ 11/8

Jude Bellingham is the gift that keeps on giving as far as the Anytime Goalscorer markets go with Real Madrid this season. The Englishman has scored 17 times in 21 appearances so far for his new club and backing Bellingham to score anytime has a 67% success rate across La Liga and the Champions League.

With Vinicius expected to play some part again, it’s very possible that none of Real Madrid’s forwards will complete the full 90 minutes here so backing Bellingham to Score Anytime at 11/8 looks like the way to go again in that market, with the young midfielder continuing to get licence to roam freely and make regular darts into the penalty area.

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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