A huge absentee list as a result of Covid-19 and injuries has left Barcelona vulnerable yet again to dropping points.
Mallorca went into the winter break five points above La Liga’s relegation zone, although a lone win across their last ten league games shows there’s plenty of room for improvement. Three of their six draws during that time saw the ‘Pirates’ drop points to goals conceded beyond the 70th minute – a significant period of concern as they’ve now conceded 12 of their 27 La Liga goals against during this time. The hosts have made Palma de Mallorca a mini-fortress though, with only one loss across nine La Liga home games. That should bring some encouragement as Mallorca look to halt a ten-game La Liga winless run against Barcelona, including seven straight losses where they conceded an average of four goals per game!
The visitors would love an extension of that record considering they sit outside the top six after winning only once in La Liga action since the start of December. A huge absentee list as a result of Covid-19 and injuries has left Barcelona vulnerable yet again to dropping points. Considering they’ve drawn against five teams starting this round 12th or below (like Mallorca), and with three of those coming despite scoring first, this game could be a long hard slog for Barcelona and their makeshift squad. Mirroring their overall struggles, Barça have won just once away this La Liga campaign with just six teams picking up fewer away league points before this matchday.
Ironically for the fallen Spanish giants, a third straight away La Liga draw for the first time since 2009 may not be regarded as a setback considering the circumstances!
Mallorca’s search for an early goal could see them turn to Dani Rodriguez, who has been their first scorer with each of his last three La Liga strikes. Meanwhile, a starting role for Nico Gonzalez may work for Barcelona, especially as the midfielder has scored in two of their last three La Liga games. Barcelona haven’t lost their first La Liga game of a calendar year since 2015.