Mallorca down to bare bones

A look ahead to the weekend's action in the Spanish Primera Division.

Last Updated: 08/11/12 at 18:52 Post Comment

Giovani dos Santos: Latest absentee

Giovani dos Santos: Latest absentee

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With a host of injuries and five successive defeats to their name, Real Mallorca could be allowed to feel less than optimistic heading into Sunday's Primera Division match with Barcelona.

The Catalans themselves will be keen to get back on the winning trail after Wednesday's 2-1 reverse at Celtic and pull away at the top of the table.

Mallorca were beaten 1-0 by Deportivo la Coruna last time out and their plight has not been helped by Giovani dos Santos becoming the latest player to join a long list of absentees.

Midfielder Tomas Pina has said the situation has gotten so bad manager Joaquin Caparros has told his players to avoid clashes in training.

Pina told AS: "It is a plague of injuries that greatly changes planning for the season and the development during it, and in our case even more so because we are a small squad.

"Sometimes the coach tells us to be careful because you have to be aware that the situation is uncomfortable and if you can avoid a collision in training, then it's best to do so."

Atletico Madrid may be second in the table ahead of the visit of Getafe on Sunday, but coach Diego Simeone has had to defend Adrian Lopez as the forward has scored just once in 13 matches.

He told Marca: "In principle he gives us the possibility of playing in different areas, he isn't an out and out goalscorer but he offers us offensive variety and he can make goals.

"I don't think he has an obligation to score because every game he is improving and I am happier every time with the development he is having."

Adrian could have a big role to play this weekend when Getafe visit the Vicente Calderon as Diego Costa is still out with a muscular problem but otherwise Simeone has a full squad to choose from.

Current holders Real Madrid have injury concerns ahead of their trip to Levante.

Both recognised centre forwards Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema are ruled out with muscle strains.

Sami Khedira also remains on the sidelines with a thigh injury but there could a return ahead of schedule for Fabio Coentrao after he returned to training on Thursday.

For the home side Obafemi Martins will return to lead the line on Sunday as he was ineligible for their European tie with FC Twente on Thursday and fringe players Dariusz Dudka and Theofanis Gekas are the only injury absentees from Juan Ignacio Martinez's squad.

Sunday's other matches see Real Valladolid host Valencia, while Sevilla travel to Athletic Bilbao.

On Friday Real Betis are at home to Granada. Saturday sees Malaga, fresh from their qualification into the knockout stages of the Champions League take on Real Sociedad. Other matches on Saturday see Real Vallecano welcome Celta Vigo, Osasuna travel to Espanyol and Deportivo la Coruna are away at Real Zaragoza.


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