Real Mallorca make the comparatively short trip to Valencia then another two hours by road to the La Mancha region where they’ll play second bottom Albacete tomorrow at 8pm at their 17,000 capacity Carlos Belmonte stadium.
If you think Mallorca have had a rough old season, Albacete - nicknamed “Los Manchegos” - are in freefall and find themselves seven points behind us on 33 with the unenviable stat of having conceded 53 goals. This game is probably last chance saloon for them, so much so that they’re selling cheap tickets in a campaign labelled “Tren de la Permanencia”. What this means is that they will be fighting for their lives and Mallorca are not at their best when a team below them are “in their faces”. In March 2013, Andres Iniesta, Spain’s World Cup-winning scorer, who hails from Albacete, loaned the club 240,000 euros to cover unpaid wages, thus preventing administrative relegation. For Mallorca a win would give us some breathing space and the probability of just one more win to guarantee our participation in La Segunda next season: that will start, by the way, on 21 August and finish on 11 June. Play-offs will last until 25 June; let’s hope we’re in them.
The supporters clubs have organised a trip to the match. At the time of writing, nearly 70 had taken up the 100 euros offer. That’s a poor travelling support compared to Osasuna, who hope to take 10,000 to Bilbao next Sunday. By a way of saying “thank you”, the Mallorca players will pay for the travelling supporters’ match tickets. Our line-up will be minus Oriol and Sabater, who received a one-game suspension, while German goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther is doubtful with shoulder tendinitis.
I am making no predictions for this one as it’s too close to call. Our away form is rubbish and Albacete are circulating around the relegation plughole. It could well be another game to view (or not to view, that is the question) from behind the settee.