Sports Mole previews Saturday’s La Liga clash between Villarreal and Mallorca, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Villarreal will be bidding to end a three-game losing run in all competitions when they continue their La Liga campaign with a home match against Mallorca on Saturday afternoon.
The Yellow Submarine have had a difficult campaign to date and currently sit down in 15th position in the table, level on points (19) with 14th-placed Mallorca ahead of this weekend’s contest.
Villarreal finished fifth in La Liga last season, while they have claimed a top-seven spot in their last four campaigns, but it has been a struggle this term, with the team currently down in 15th position.
The Yellow Submarine have won five, drawn four and lost 11 of their 20 league matches this season to collect 19 points, and they are only four points clear of the relegation zone.
Marcelino is the team’s third permanent manager of the campaign, with Quique Setien and Pacheta both losing their jobs due to poor results, but the 58-year-old, who is in his second spell as head coach of the club, has also found it difficult to produce consistent results.
Villarreal have bad a poor start to 2024, losing each of their three matches in all competitions; two of those have come in the league, going down 3-1 to Valencia and 3-0 to Las Palmas, while they were shocked in the last-32 stage of the Copa del Rey by third-tier outfit Unionistas.
The team are in the knockout round of the Europa League, though, and it seems almost certain that they will need to win that competition this season to secure European football for next term.
Mallorca, meanwhile, will enter this match in impressive form, losing just one of their last 10 matches in all competitions, which was a 1-0 defeat away to Real Madrid at the start of the year.
Javier Aguirre‘s side have advanced to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey, recording a 1-0 win over Tenerife on Tuesday evening, but they were held to a 1-1 draw by Celta Vigo in the league last time out, with the result leaving them in 14th position in the table on 19 points.
Mallorca have been the draw specialists in Spain’s top flight this season alongside Real Betis, having shared the points on 10 occasions, and they have only won three La Liga games in 2023-24.
Too many draws have prevented them from moving up the division, but they have not lost in La Liga to a team other than Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid since the start of November.
The Pirates suffered a 1-0 defeat to Villarreal when the two teams locked horns earlier this season, but they actually won 2-0 when they visited the Yellow Submarine during the 2022-23 campaign.
Villarreal La Liga form:
Villarreal form (all competitions):
Mallorca La Liga form:
Mallorca form (all competitions):
Advert – content below:
Villarreal will be missing four players through injury on Saturday, with Raul Albiol, Juan Foyth, Yeremy Pino and Denis Suarez unavailable for selection.
The Yellow Submarine are also without the services of Aissa Mandi, as the centre-back is representing Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Head coach Marcelino is expected to make changes to the side that took to the field for the first whistle against Las Palmas in the league last time out, with Alexander Sorloth and Francis Coquelin both potentially coming into the starting XI.
As for Mallorca, three defenders will be absent for this weekend’s contest, with Pablo Maffeo and Martin Valjent both unavailable for selection due to knee injuries.
Meanwhile, Giovanni Gonzalez picked up a milestone yellow card in the team’s last league game with Celta, and he is therefore suspended for the trip to Villarreal.
Vedat Muriqi is also not yet ready to return from an ankle issue, so Cyle Larin, who hit a 120th-minute winner against Tenerife in the Copa del Rey earlier this week, will lead the line.
There will be changes from the cup match, with the likes of Toni Lato, Dani Rodriguez, Antonio Sanchez and Samu Costa preparing to return to the starting side.
Villarreal possible starting lineup:
Jorgensen; Alti, Bailly, Cuenca, Pedraza; Akhomach, Coquelin, Parejo, Baena; G Moreno, Sorloth
Mallorca possible starting lineup:
Rajkovic; Darder, Nastasic, Raillo, Copete, Lato; A Sanchez, Morlanes, Costa, D Rodriguez; Larin
We say: Villarreal 1-1 Mallorca
Villarreal have only won three times at home in La Liga this season, but they will be welcoming a Mallorca outfit that have just one away league success to their name in 2023-24. Mallorca are proving difficult to beat at the moment, and Villarreal are not in good form, so we can see a low-scoring draw in this contest.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 2.5:data
ID:534137:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect15128:
Previews by email
Click here to get Sports Mole‘s daily email of previews and predictions for every major game!