After a week when, to celebrate his victory, Tyson Fury said he was going to treat himself to a brand new set of alloy wheels – for his house! – Real Mallorca face a struggle of Titanic proportions when they play high-flying Madrid side Getafe (nicknamed Los Azulones) in the Son Moix tonight at 18:30.
The islanders got a highly commendable away point against Betis (3-3) on Friday 21st and look likely to keep the same starting formation with the exception of left back Leonardo Koutris. He went off injured during that game and after a scan received the worst possible injury news a footballer can hear. The Greek left back was told his season was over after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament on his left knee. He’ll have surgery later this week and then a six-month lay-off.
The situation now means we have only one recognised left back in Ghanaian Lumor Agbenyenu. There’s a possibility Mallorca could go in search of a replacement. Regulations stipulate that an injured player must be out for at least five months to bring in a replacement but finding someone with just 13 games left to play won’t be easy.
The options available could be found from players who are out of contract, as was the case with our South Korean purchase, Ki.
However, the down side of that idea is, like Ki, match fitness, and with games running out there’s not a lot of time available to get players up to playing 90 minutes.
We’ve had a real chronic left back injury list and it now looks like our two right backs Joan Sastre and Fran Gomez will have to cover in an auxiliary position! Also doubtful tonight is Lago Junior who’s missed two days training with a leg muscle problem. The good news for Mallorca is that our new attacking trident of Kubo, Cucho Hernandez and Budimir worked well together against Betis, each of them scoring. Let’s hope they do the same tonight against probably the toughest team in La Liga.
Getafe (who don’t play to entertain the fans) currently lie in fourth place, are a tiny team on the verge of Champions League qualifications, and are without doubt the story of the season in Spain. They’re a team put together for 4.7 million euros, are a side without egos and superstars, and are the youngest club in La Liga, formed in 1983 in the seventh tier of Spanish football.
Last Thursday, after hitting the woodwork three times, they overcame Ajax to reach the last 16 of the Europa League, where they’ll play Inter Milan.
Once again they didn’t make any friends with their time-wasting tactics which nearly saw the two coaches come to blows. Much credit goes to coach Jose Bordelas (one of nine siblings), who’s dragged the team up by its bootlaces from second bottom of La Segunda in 2016 to the cusp of the Champions League.
They’ve been labelled purveyors of anti football, dour, defensive, dabblers in the dark arts and playing them has been described as being like a trip to the dentist!
Getafe’s style is also described as robust and ugly, committing more fouls than any other La Liga side. Their players are basically a group of unheralded journeymen who play the old fashioned way – hard work and unity.
Fortunately for us, two of their best players, Nyom and Cucurella (with the Sideshow-Bob hairstyle) are suspended, but their style won’t change – tough, aggressive and direct. There’s no question they’ll be the hardest opponents we’ve played in the Son Moix this season and we’ll find them a tough nut to crack.
One of the world’s biggest club match rivalries takes centre stage after our game tonight as fierce rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona lock horns in the Santiago Bernabeu in the latest instalment of the “clasico” derby. Tonight’s game carries extra meaning given the current state of the La Liga title race. Barcelona have a two-point lead over Los Blancos, who were knocked off top spot last weekend courtesy of a shock defeat at Levante. Another loss tonight is likely to prove fatal to Real’s hopes of claiming a first domestic title since 2017.
It’s La Liga’s most important “clasico” for years, which may also be the most mediocre as two lame ducks each fight to lift the gloom by deepening the other’s sense of crisis.
AND FINALLY, several men are in the locker room of their local golf club. A mobile phone on the bench rings and a man engages the hand-free speaker function and begins to talk. Everyone else in the room stops to listen.
Man: “Hello.” Woman : “Hi babe, it’s me. Are you at the club?” “Yes.” “I’m at the shops now and I’ve seen this fabulous leather coat, it’s only £2,000. Is it OK if I buy it?”
Man: “Sure, go ahead.” She carries on “I also stopped at the Lexus dealership and saw their new models, there’s one I really like, can I buy it ?”
Man: “No problem, but for £90,000 I want it with all the options.”
Woman: “Great, oh and by the way, I’ve just found out the house I wanted last year is back on the market for £580,000.”
Man: “Well on you go and make an offer of £550,000. They’ll probably take it, if not we can go the extra £30,000 if that’s what you really want.”
Woman: “OK, I’ll see you later, I love you so much.”
Man: “Bye, I love you too.” The man hangs up and the other men in the locker room are staring at him in astonishment, mouths open wide. He turns and asks “Anyone know whose phone this is?!”