R.Mallorca-FC Barcelona: From Glasgow to Mallorca

Villa i Iniesta, autors de 2 dels 3 gols contra l'Alabès. FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
17.50, GolT and Canal+Futbol: Following on from the defeat in Glasgow, Barça go to Mallorca with the aim of extending their record-breaking start to the league season

Barça return to the La Liga campaign on Sunday afternoon on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, with little time to digest the Champions League defeat in Celtic Park. However, Barça continues to lead both competitions. And in the domestic competition, the team has the additional motivation of the chance to extend their record-breaking run of 9 wins and just one draw in 10 league encounters, including five straight away victories. Barça tops the league table with 28 points, 3 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid.

Messi and Villa look for goals

A glance at the record books shows that Barça have won on no fewer than 9 of their last 10 visits to Mallorca. On an individual level, Leo Messi and David Villa may get the chance to add to their personal tally of records. Messi is just one goal away from the record of 75 goals scored in one calendar year, set by the legendary Pelé 1958. As for Villa he needs just two more goals to reach a career total of 300.

Tito Vilanova welcomes back Sergio Busquets after the midfielder missed out on the Celtic game due to suspension. The manager can also count on Gerard Pique, who made his comeback after injury in Glasgow, to strengthen the back line. However, he has confirmed that he’ll be without Carles Puyol – “He’ll have to wait another week”.

Problems mount for Mallorca

For Mallorca, the match against Barça couldn’t have come at a worse time. They have lost their last five matches and have slid down the table to find themselves just two points clear of the relegation zone. This disastrous run of form has gone hand in hand with an avalanche of injuries. Former Barça player Giovani dos Santos, together with Javi Márquez, Nunes, Antonio López, Joao Víctor and Uche, will all miss the game.

On the plus side, Mallorca boss Joaquín Caparrós can call on Andreu Fontàs, on loan from Barça until 30th June. Teams managed by Caparrós usually apply a lot of pressure in the opposing half which may interrupt Barça’s passing style.

Mallorca vs FC Barcelona: match preview

Piqué i Puyol celebren el segon gol a Mallorca (0-2) / FOTO: ARXIU FCB
All details about the Palma’s Mallorca match

R.Mallorca-FC Barcelona: From Glasgow to Mallorca

Spotlight on Real Mallorca

The team arrives in Palma

Tito Vilanova: “Caparrós always makes things difficult for us”

Last training session before Mallorca match in photos

19-man squad for Mallorca

Spanish League: Preview Week 11

Andreu Fontàs: “it’ll be special to face Barça – they were my team for five years”

Alves: “We don’t need a Plan B here”

The team arrives in Palma

Montoya, durant el viatge a Palma. FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
On Saturday evening Barça took the short flight to Mallorca to play the eleventh round of the league season

Barça took off from El Prat airport at 7.30 pm and are now in Palma. Given that the match kicks off at the earlier time of 5.50 pm, the coaching staff decided to change the usual routine and spend the night before the match in Mallorca.

The Barça party is led by Club directors Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca and Pilar Guinovart. Vice-president Jordi Cardoner was already in Palma, having attended a Supporters’ Club event on Friday evening. Eduard Coll will join the rest later.

The team went straight from the airport to the Hotel Meliá de Mar, where they’ll be staying until the match.

Tito Vilanova: "Caparrós always makes things difficult for us"

Tito Vilanova/ PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The Barça manager has no illusions about the problems his players are going to face in the Iberostar Stadium. In reference to Joaquín Caparrós’s time in charge of Athletic Club, he told reporters, “He was the first coach to put pressure on us in our own half”

Vilanova has ruled out Carles Puyol for the Mallorca game and announced, “We’ll wait another week”

Speaking at Saturday’s press conference, Tito Vilanova revealed that his players were concentrating “on what we did well (against Celtic), on the things we can do better and on preparing the match against Mallorca”. While admitting that Mallorca goes into the match with a lot of injuries, he warned against any complacency: “Caparrós always makes things difficult for us. It’s never an easy place to go. With Athletic Club he was the first coach to put pressure on us in our own half”.

Puyol ruled out

From past experience, Vilanova knows what to expect from Mallorca: “They won’t make it easy for us to build moves. They’ll probably look to put the ball over the top of the defence because they’ve got pace upfront”. Despite returning to training on Friday, Vilanova has ruled out Carles Puyol: “In principle he won’t make the trip to Mallorca. Physically he’s fine but it may be a bit too soon so we’ll wait another week”.

An admired style of play

The midweek defeat to Celtic was also the subject of many of the questions. Vilanova stated that he was “very happy” with the way his team played. “The other day we had 97% of the possession in the second half. If that’s not enough…We had the possession and a lot of chances. We always want to have possession, to try and attack and score. That’s the way we play. The way the team plays suits them. A choice was made about how to try and win. Barça is admired for the way we play, something that can’t be said by many teams”.

He also emphasised that this was not a new experience: “We’ve seen 50 or 60 matches like the one against Celtic, but the thing is Barça has won 95% of them so nothing’s been said”. Finally, he denied any kind of problem between Villa and Messi: “I know what relationship I see, and it’s a very good one. They get on very well together. Calling for the ball is the most normal thing in a match”.