Mallorca hoping Brandon Thomas can supply some goalscoring threat.

28-08-2016Paco Martin

Real Mallorca play their third game and second home fixture of the new season when they face Asturian side Oviedo at 20.00 at the Son Moix. They were the visitors when Mallorca played their 100th anniversary game in Palma in March, which ended 1-0.  Looking at the predictions on Spanish football websites, the majority of tipsters are favouring a draw.

Oviedo have won one game and lost one so far this season under new coach 48-year-old Fernando Hierro. The ex-Real Madrid and Spanish international legend spent a season alongside Ancelotti at the Bernabeu in 2014/15 as assistant coach before taking the reins at the Carlos Tartiere earlier this summer. He's the highest paid coach in the second division on a million euros a season.

In November 2012 Premier League stars Santi Cazorla, Juan Mata and West Ham goalkeeper Adrian, who all come from the area, bought shares in Oviedo to raise two million euros to help keep the club afloat in the third division. Another player who was part of of the bailout was Miguel Perez Cuesta, better known simply as Michu..The ex-Swansea striker has slipped rapidly down the footballing ladder after receiving a career-threatening ankle injury.   

He reappeared at his brother's club Langero in the Asturian third division and signed for his home city team Oviedo in July. Before going to Swansea (who snapped him up from Rayo Vallecano for just two million euros), he was a prolific goalscorer. On his arrival at Oviedo, Michu said: "With Los Azules down in the second tier the target is clear. The short-term and medium-term target is a return to the Primera."  The only problem now is will the 30-year-old's ankle take the strain, and he looks doubtful for the Sunday match. He actually played at the Son Moix quite recently in 2014 against Belarus in a World Cup qualifier for Spain.

For Mallorca it's been a busy week after striker Adrian Colunga rescinded his contract and left for Cyprus. Needless to say there wasn't enough time for the club to replace Colunga with a suitable player on the last day of the transfer window.   Depending on circumstances there may be other options available in December.

So Oscar Diaz, Lekic, Dalmau and Brandon are the strike force until January, and I will be very surprised if any of them will be prolific - although I hope to be proved wrong. The good news is that Cedric is back in light training so he could be another striking option later this year.

It's early doors but the second division this season so far looks very equal with 13 draws from the first two rounds of 22 games: the top Spanish leagues don't start taking shape until at least Christmas.

Sunday's line-up won't differ too much from the team that won a hard-fought point in Cadiz last Sunday, although I expect to see Dalmau on the bench. A lot is now expected of 32-year-old Diaz after his goal last Sunday, and we have to hope that he can deliver. As to his striking companion Lekic, he hasn't exactly pulled up any trees in what little playing time he's had: the jury's still out.

There's a one-legged Copa del Rey match at the Son Moix against Reus (again) next Wednesday at 22.00. The club are keen to take a bigger part in a competition in which, until a few years ago, we did rather well. Now there's more financial incentive for teams that progress to the future rounds, but it's still likely we'll play squad members who haven't had regular starts in the first XI. 

Comments

To be able to write a comment, you have to be registered and be logged in.

* Mandatory fields

Currently there are no comments.