Racing de Santander v Real Mallorca, Kick-off 17.00

Gregorio Manzano has warned his high–flying team not to drop their guard against Racing Santander this afternoon as Real Mallorca aim to improve on their record breaking run. Mallorca's 3–1 defeat of Alaves last week means victory today will be a seventh consecutive win for the islanders, but Manzano knows the trip to Santander will offer a tougher test than in previous weeks. Despite a recent drop in form and a 1–0 defeat to a very average Seville side last week, 12th place Racing have still managed to beat Deportivo and Real Madrid and draw with Barça this season and should not be underestimated. “If we drop our guard, we will be more vulnerable and could lose against anybody,” warned Manzano, who knows only too well –– after a dire start to the season –– that fortunes can change in a matter of weeks. “Real Madrid and Barça have both struggled at the Sardinero this season so it is quite obvious that it's a hard ground to go and win at,” he added. Manzano has the luxury of being able to field the same starting eleven as in the previous five weeks. He will be looking to striker Walter Pandiani to add to his five goal tally from the past two matches and to Samuel Eto'o to find the kind of form of which he is capable. Manzano will also be looking for another solid performance from his dynamic midfield, a big reason for the team's impressive jump to third in the table. Harold Lozano has improved immensely over the past few weeks and is now starting to look highly composed in his holding and distributing role in front of the defence, while Albert Riera, Ariel Ibagaza and Alvaro Novo are all causing defences havoc with their darting runs and quick thinking passes to the two front men. Mallorca's defence will be kept busy by the likes of Diego Alonso and the tricky Pedro Munitis, on–loan from Real Madrid, but with only 2 goals conceded in the past six matches the back four will be confident of another fine display.


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