By Humphrey Carter
REAL Mallorca will tonight try to recuperate the three points they let slip against Levante on Sunday as their battle to avoid relegation gets increasingly complicated.

The struggling second from bottom side trot out against Villarreal at 9pm tonight knowing that the job at hand is not going to be easy - despite last weekend's defeat Villarreal have been one of the most impressive sides in the Liga in this second half of the season.

Real Mallorca have not won away from Son Moix since November 21 and out of their 25 games this season, have won five, drawn 6 and lost 14 to amass 21 points. However, coach Hector Cuper is not throwing in the towel, he says there are still plenty of games left to play and enough for Mallorca to win to avoid the drop.

Before last Sunday's defeat, Mallorca beat Getafe and Albacete and victory against Levante would have taken Mallorca out of the relegation zone at the expense of Albacete.

But Cuper's side let slip their 1-0 advantage. Cuper is expected to tinker with his starting XI for tonight's game.
Yesterday he left for Valencia with Okubo back in the squad. Okubo has been in Japan where he had to sort out his visa. The fans are calling for some attacking football.

Cuper claims Mallorca can win the game. “I'm optimistic and believe that come the end of the season we will have 41 or 42 points,” he says.
Unlike Mallorca, however, Villarreal have an awesome strike force with Riquelme and Forlan on superb form. “They're playing great football, they are enjoying a good run. It is a very well balanced team, look how, thanks to Riquelme, they came back from two goals down to beat Atletico Madrid the other week. Losing to Zaragoza on Sunday will only spur them on against us,” says Cuper. “But we've got to show determination, character and courage to get the better of them,” the Argentine added.

Real Mallorca:

Moyá; Ramis, Ballesteros, Iuliano, Poli; Campano, Pereyra, De los Santos, Tuni; Arango and Luis García.


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