Real Mallorca welcome fellow basement dwellers Almeria (where they made a lot of the Spaghetti Westerns) to the Son Moix on Sunday at 12 midday, with both sides mired in the depths of Spain’s La Segunda.
After nine games Mallorca lie in 20th place on nine points with Almeria one behind. They’ve only got a single point on the road so far this season, which is one of the main reasons they pushed the panic button and changed their coach last week, as did Valladolid who are level on points with Mallorca.
With Osasuna topping the table on 19 points (with the average age of their squad being 19 years old) alongside Cordoba (now coached by ex-Mallorca reject Jose Luis Oltra), it’s well within the realms of possibility that a vastly improving Real Mallorca could be up in the top six come Christmas. It’s a huge game for us after showing positive signs in our last three games and it’s now time to kick-start our poor opening to the campaign. It will be interesting to see just what line-up coach “Chapi” Ferrer will pick. Does he keep the original starting XI from last week, then bring Brandon Thomas (who is a particular favourite of the coach) and Pereira off the bench in the second half, or does he play them from the start? Both Yuste and Oriol have to be careful as both of them face suspension if they get a booking, and we’ll be playing with the new yellow “hi-vis” winter ball, which is supposedly easier to see in winter’s darker afternoons. Let’s just hope it nestles in the visitors’ goal on several occasions before two o’clock, as it’s now time for our only fit out-and-out striker, Rolando Bianchi, to start hitting the net.
The club website announced yesterday that 11,136 season tickets had been sold. One wonders how many of them will turn up on Sunday.
The papers this past week have been full of stories regarding our midfielder Abdoul Sissoko who’s been inspirational over the past few games and has been scored two goals. His older brother Momo played for Valencia, Liverpool, Juventus and PSG and is now in China with Shanghai Shenhuta, while his cousin is Seydou Keita who played for Barcelona, Sevilla and Valencia. The only downside regarding Sissoko is that he may well be called by Mali to play in some African Cup of Nations qualifiers early next year.
It was also announced last week that our home game against Lugo will kick off at 4 pm on 21 November. The earlier time is because of the first El Clasico which starts at 6.15pm. There are no games in La Segunda scheduled to be played when the two giants of Spanish and world club football go head to head in the Bernabeu.