Sergio Kresic returns to the club he coached eight years ago when his Real Mallorca side face fourth-place Real Betis in the hope of climbing clear of the relegation strugglers this afternoon. Kresic, who has first hand experience of the Betis set-up after a year's coaching stint with the Seville-based club in 1993, knows how hard it will be to get a result at the Manuel Ruiz de Lopera stadium, but will be slightly more confident after learning midfielder Vicente Engonga is available after long-term injury. But, as with most of Mallorca's season thus far, with every positive comes a negative and doubtful for the match is striker Albert Luque, scorer of five goals this season and who is suffering from lower back pain. Kresic, who left Leo Biagini in Palma for technical reasons, may be forced to leave Luque on the bench and place diminutive striker Carlos Dominguez alongside Samuel Eto'o in his place. Whoever starts the match for Mallorca, Kresic yesterday warned all his players of losing concentration during the match, a recurring factor over the past few weeks, and to be aware of Betis down the flanks.
Betis play with a lot of confidence especially at home where nothing will be easy for us, said Kresic. For this reason we're going to have to make sure we don't commit any silly errors, or else we'll pay for them dearly. They're very strong down the wings, something we definitely need to be aware of. One player extremely dangerous down the left wing is the former most expensive player in the world, Denilson, who, when in the mood, is unstoppable. Like Mallorca's season thus far though, Denilson blows hot and cold, and Kresic, along with Mallorca right-back Javier Olaizola, will be hoping the Brazilian plays more like the recent weather than of which he is capable. Meanwhile, Betis's Mallorcan-born goalkeeper Antonio Prats was looking forward to facing Kresic' side today and admitted he usually liked to see Mallorca win. Prats played with Mallorca for four seasons from 1992 to 1995 and, although admitting he wanted Betis to win this encounter, said he would be playing the match with a divided heart.