CUP holders Real Mallorca will be looking to put a turbulent start to the season behind them when they start the defence of their title away to third division Sabadell tomorrow, whether a new coach has been found or not. Luis Aragones was expected to have made a decision yesterday, but at going to press last night, there was still no word.
Mallorca, who knocked out Real Madrid and Deportivo Coruna on their way to a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Recreativo Huelva in last season's final, have struggled for form in the early season, winning just one of their first six league matches. The former Boavista boss, who only took charge at the beginning of the season, was replaced by caretaker Tomeu Llompart, but the team could still only manage a 1-1 draw at home to Osasuna on Sunday. Many of the club's problems stem from the fact that their fragile economic situation forced the departure of several key players during the close season. Influential playmaker Ariel Ibagaza, highly rated youngster Albert Riera and leading scorer Walter Pandiani have all gone, while the only major new recruit is former PSV Eindhoven striker Arnold Bruggink, who has yet to find his feet. In theory the game against lowly Sabadell should give the islanders the chance to get their season back on track, but they will be aware that their opponents have nothing to lose in the one-off tie at their own ground.