Match preview: Mallorca vs. Atlético

Los Colchoneros hope to end season on a positive note with a win in Palma

Atlético's Elias battles  Mallorca's Webo (

Atlético's Elias battles
Mallorca's Webo (

A sold-out Iberostar Stadium will play host to Atlético when they face off against relegation-threatened local side Mallorca on Saturday evening in la Liga’s final match day.

The clash, which will mark the end of the Quique Sanchez Flores era at Atleti, will have implications for both clubs, but los Mallorquinos should feel the greater amount of pressure.

The Islanders, currently 13th in the league standings and two points above the relegation zone, are tussling with five other squads to avoid the drop to la Segunda. Laudrup’s men can stave off demotion with a draw against los Colchoneros or with a Zaragoza defeat in Levante.

Even if we beat Mallorca, they can remain in the top-flight if Deportivo and Getafe both lose, but the Balearic outfit will want to take matters into their own hands and secure at least a point against us.

Los Rojiblancos meanwhile, currently sit in seventh place and can extend their summer vacation with a victory and if either Sevilla or Athletic Bilbao, level with us in points at 55, stumble against their respective opponents.

A fifth or sixth place finish for Quique’s men will allow them to bypass a preliminary Europa League playoff round in late July.

“If we finish fifth, great, and if it’s sixth, that’s better than seventh,” Sanchez Flores was quoted as saying by ESPN Soccernet. “It’s important for the prestige of the club not to be in the Europa League qualifying round.

“As such, we will do everything possible against an opponent who are going to make things very difficult for us,” Quique added. “Mallorca are going to fill their ground because they are playing for survival and we are obliged to be at our best.”

The Rojiblanco boss took a final jab at Diego Forlán by leaving the star striker off the match selection for a second consecutive week, effectively ending the Uruguayan’s season and quite possibly his career at Atlético.

Defender Alvaro Dominguez suffered vertigo Friday morning and will be unable to travel to Palma. Fellow centre-backs Diego Godin and Luis Perea remain sidelined with injuries, leaving Quique with only one possible central defensive pairing for the match: Jorge Pulido and Tomas Ujfalusi.

Juan Valera will take Ujfa’s place on the right flank, and either Filipe Luis or Antonio Lopez will man the left wing.

In mid-January, a ten-man Atleti side defeated Mallorca by a comfortable 3-0 margin at the Vicente Calderón, with goals coming from Valera, Forlán and Jose Antonio Reyes. Antonio Lopez was sent off in the 69th minute after conceding a penalty, but David de Gea heroically saved Webo’s spot kick to salvage the shut out.

Given the amount of local support and the stakes of the encounter for the home team, it will be an even tougher challenge than usual for Atleti at a ground where they haven’t won since 2004.

Mallorca’s stadium, usually largely empty for our visits (or anyone else’s for that matter), will be jam-packed on Saturday.

Let’s hope Kun can silence the home supporters early and lead us to an uplifting end-of-the-season triumph, breaking our streak of four straight losses on the island!

Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: De Gea, Joel
Defenders: Valera, Antonio López, Filipe Luis, Ujfalusi, Pulido
Midfielders: Mario Suárez, Tiago, Raúl García, Elías, Paulo Assunção, Reyes, Juanfran, Koke, Noguera
Forwards: Kun Agüero, Diego Costa

Mallorca match selection:
Goalkeepers: Aouate, Lux, T. Nadal
Defenders: Ramis, Rubén, Nunes, Ayoze, Crespí, Cendrós, Corrales, Kevin
Midfielders: Joao Victor, Pereira, Nsue, Castro, Aki, Martí, De Guzman, Tejera, Pina
Forwards: Webó, Víctor, S.Enrich

Referee: Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz

Barcelona vs. Real Madrid? No! Derek and Andrius square off for the inaugural AtléticoFans Prediction League title in the final week of the competition. The rest of us, who will be playing purely out of pride, can submit our prediction here!

  • 7th

    why doesnt QSF at least call merida or borja.

  • Ah left out Forlán again:@

  • Chalet

    Reportedly Forlán did well and even scored 3 goals in training recently – but obviously this wasn´t enough to convince QSF.
    Quique must be pretty satisfied with the situation that he could leave all of his 3 most disliked players out of the squad for his last game as an Atléti manager.
    Domínguez is suffering from some health problems, but the thing with Forlán and Mérida meanwhile really seems to be based on personal issues.
    Mérida was very highly rated during his time with Arsenal but actually Quique never gave him a real chance.

    Given that Forlán will be leaving during the summer it was really poor from Quique to refuse Uruguayo a way to bid farewell to some of the fans who are still supporting him.

    If Forlán is to be sold it could as well be that Quique caused some damage to the club by constantly reducing the player´s market value.

    Quique – get lost!

  • palc

    I’m pretty sure Forlan will stay.

  • culbia

    Hmmm… If I was him I would run for it… as fast as I could!

  • 20corona

    I hope he does and has atleast 1 more good season with us but why do you think Forlan will stay? 🙂

  • palc

    I might be biased by the fact that I want him to stay. But he has said that he wants to see out his contract untill 2013. I do think he’s happy in Madrid, but it is really up to the board. Cerezo has said that he also want him to stay. But then again we are continously being linked to Osvaldo and Adrian. Some even say that we have agreed on a price for Osvaldo and some even say that Adrian already is an Atletico- player. We can’t have five strikers in the team..

  • Sweden

    I think as long as Kun stays and Piatti, Osvaldo, Adrian comes, then both Costa and Forlan should leave.

  • Lubo

    I read something about Salvio and Porto connection. Goddamn them, I want Toto to be here next season. And I also think he is better than Piatti.

  • Chalet

    I would be very sad to see Forlán go but I think that for his own sake it would be better to leave Atléti.
    The new manager might be able to reactivate the brilliant Forlán of old but somehow I have a feeling that the relationship between Forlán and most of his teammates is broken, so it would absolutely make no sense to carry on like this.
    Agüero and Forlán have been a terrific striking pair for us for a very long time but this season it got all split up and now Reyes seems to be a wonderful partner for Agüero up
    You get the impression that Forlán won´t be needed any longer.
    Obviously Cerezo wants him to stay but Gil Marín wants him to be sold, so combined with the fact that the vast majority of the fans wants to get rid of Forlán – he should move on.