Adria Dalmau has a chance to prove himself up front for Real Mallorca.

08-09-2016Teresa Ayuga

Real Mallorca face a high voltage away game against bottom club Rayo Vallecano at midday tomorrow. The Madrid club are in the middle of internal conflict, according to reports, after a punch-up between players and the coach at the training ground on Friday. Let's hope that's not a taste of things to come. The capital's third side (they have a bigger fan base than Getafe) are an unashamedly working class outfit from a working class neighbourhood, Vallecas, and have been one of Spain's perennial yo-yo teams despite being relegated last May after a record (for them) five seasons in La Liga.

After last week's impressive showing against Oviedo, Mallorca struggled to get past Reus in a Copa del Rey game on Wednesday, finally scraping through 1-0 after extra time. The news then broke on Thursday that newly-signed Serbian striker Dejan Lekic injured a foot in the game against Oviedo and will be out of action for any time up to two months. He's only played 78 minutes of football since he came here pre-season but his absence means Real Mallorca now have a critical striker situation. With Colunga off to Cyprus and Lekic on the treatment table, it leaves us with just Oscar Diaz, Adria Dalmau and Brandon Thomas as attacking striking options.

In theory Dalmau is the only genuine striker we have available and after his impressive 25 minutes on Wednesday he now needs to show us what he's made of. It's a big ask for the Palma-born youngster on loan from Espanyol B, but it's his big chance. The young Catalan Pol Roige played the full 120 minutes in the cup match on Wednesday and now looks likely to have more playing time.

Our opponents Rayo Vallecano play in a street called Payasa Fofo (clown street) in the Madrid bandit country in the barrio of Vallecas. The ground had security fences round the pitch until 2011 and the stadium is three-sided, because local tenements are so close to the pitch's east end that all that stands behind the goal is an advertising wall. The “Rayistas” in the capacity 14,700 ground are guaranteed to be breathing down Real Mallorca players' necks on their tight pitch and it is a really menacing arena.

The late Laurie Cunningham played there for a while as did the American goalkeeper Kasey Keller. The club was once owned by a poisoned dwarf called Ruiz Mateos who used to have businesses and hotels in Majorca along with a cheese factory in Minorca. He did very well under Franco but then his empire started collapsing in the first financial scandal following the restoration of democracy.

The draw for the Copa del Rey has given Mallorca another one-legged home tie, this time against newly-promoted team UCAM Murcia. The tie is provisionally to be played on Wednesday, 12 October, which is a fiesta, and we also play them in a league game on 25 September. Fernando Vazquez has been scathing with his opinions on the format for the Copa del Rey, calling it a rip-off and arranged for the bigger sides to do well. He reckons all the teams should be drawn from the start, like they are in England. I've been banging on about that for years.

The position now is that if Mallorca get into the fourth round, 20 first division clubs will be joined by the 12 survivors from previous rounds. The six teams from the lower divisions will play six of the seven sides who are playing in Europe this season: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, At. Bilbao, Villareal and Celta Vigo. The six second division sides will be drawn against the remaining sides from La Liga over two legs. That will leave eight first division sides who will be drawn against each other. The first leg will be played at the ground of the lower league clubs. The fifth round will have 16 teams and it'll be a free draw. Once again the only proviso is that the first leg is played at the lower division side's ground. As from the quarter finals this condition will no longer apply.

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Silversurfer / Hace over 5 years

Well...... they could win. Playing at noon in scorching sun might be what Mallorca players need - they usually have to play late night on a sodden pitch and don´t do that well. Fingers crossed.

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