Real Mallorca flew to Spaghetti Western country in Andalusia today where they’ll play fellow strugglers Almeria at their Los Juegos Mediterraneos tomorrow at 5pm. This is a massive game as Almeria are three points behind us and our stats are pretty equal. We’ve scored 26 to their 27 and conceded 34 to Almeria’s 36. They were relegated from La Liga last season and, like Real Mallorca found, life in La Segunda is not as easy as initially thought and is totally unpredictable. According to this weekend’s sports pages, it looks like Almeria’s coach Nestor Garosito will pick a side with five defenders as they face a Mallorca who will have all their attackers fit. Not that that will put any fear into a decent defence as we’ve really not scored enough goals this campaign. In the words of the recently-departed legend Johan Cruyff, “you can’t score if you don’t shoot”. Two of our most influential players, Lago Junior and Brandon Thomas, have suffered setbacks in form recently and if Mallorca want to get back up the table these two must hit the ground running asap.
Tomorrow's match against Almeria could well turn out to be the most important game of the season. Season-defining games tend to need a series of circumstances to fall together – they rarely sit alone. Ideally, we need Ponferradina and Huesca to lose this weekend. Last Sunday we snaffled a point against Mirandes but the performance was less than convincing. A win tomorrow would see us six points ahead of fourth-bottom Almeria, which would feel massive, especially with two huge games coming up: at home to league leaders Leganes next Saturday and then away at Zaragoza on Sunday 10th April.
Young German goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther isn’t available for the match as he’s been called up for the Germany Under-21 squad, so the veteran Jesus Cabrero takes over between the sticks. Talking of goalkeepers, Mallorca’s B team seem to have unearthed a real find. They haven’t conceded a goal in ten games and the main reason has been the form of an American/Swedish 19-year-old goalkeeper called Benjamin Machini or “Benji.” Even at such a young age, he’s already played for Brøndby, Real Salt Lake and Excelsior Rotterdam. See him on “Benjamin Machini Goalkeeper 2012-13” on You Tube: definitely one for the future.