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Key match at Son Moix

Real Valladolid travel to the Balearic Islands for what has become a crucial clash against RCD Mallorca. A series of poor results in recent weeks has pulled Pucela down near the relegation zone and they face a side just one place behind them in the standings.

Vincente Moreno’s Los Bermellones currently sit 17th in the table on 18 points. They have taken just over fifty percent of the available home points and can be difficult to break down on their own turf. They sprang a huge surprise on Valencia in Round 20, beating them 4-1 at Son Moix but have only won once in their last eight league matches. They were outclassed by a slick Real Sociedad side on the road last week, losing 3-0, and find themselves just one point above the drop zone coming into this match with Celta Vigo hot on their heels, just one point behind. Real Mallorca have quite a good recent history against Real Valldolid, winning their last seven home league matches against the blanquivioletas which is their best run of form against any team currently playing in the top-flight. However, since winning nine out of eleven of their league encounters against Real Valladolid, they have subsequently lost two out of the previous three.

Prior to Real Mallorca’s promotion in the summer, the teams met twice in the Copa del Rey last season with Sergio González’s side prevailing over the two legs. In October 2018, a Daniele Verde double saw them win the first leg at Son Moix, with substitute Sergio Buencasa pulling one back. In the return fixture at the José Zorrilla, Pucela went behind to an Abdon Prats goal shortly after half-time, but responded one minute later through Óscar Plano before Daniele Verde netted the winner two minutes before time to send the home side through to the next round 4-2 on aggregate.

Daniele Verde in action against RCD Mallorca in last season's Copa del Rey. The Italian scored three goals across the two-legged tie. (Image: Marca)

Having played out a 2-2 draw in preseason in Marbella this summer, the teams met on league duty in November last year during Round 12. In possibly their best performance all season, Real Valladolid ran out comfortable winners by a score of 3-0. Joaquín opened the scoring five minutes before the break, and the same amount of time had passed in the second period of play when Enes Ünal doubled the advantage from the penalty spot. Sandro saved the best for last, breaking his scoring drought in injury time by crashing home a long-range effort past Fabri who had been handed the starting goalkeeper role over Manolo Reina in a surprise move.

Sandro unleases a shot in Round 12 to score his first goal in a white and violet shirt. (Image: Real Valldolid)

Ante Budimir, who scored twice in the demolition of Valencia two weeks ago, is the team’s top scorer with eight goals and sits joint-fifth in the league scoring chart and is a player Pucela will need to be cautious against.

Real Valladolid’s new signing Hatem Ben Arfa has not made the trip to Palma as he is still trying to recover match fitness after being without a club for six months prior to penning a deal at the José Zorrilla this week. Also missing is Pedro Porro, and Joaquín picked up a knock during last weekend’s 1-0 loss at home to Real Madrid and will miss at least the next few matches.

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