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Real face Mallorca balancing act in LaLiga

Real Madrid visit Real Mallorca on Saturday looking to keep their LaLiga plate spinning amid their enthralling Champions League battle with Premier League champions Manchester…

Real Madrid visit Real Mallorca on Saturday looking to keep their LaLiga plate spinning amid their enthralling Champions League battle with Premier League champions Manchester City.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side, eight points clear at the top of the table, have a difficult balancing act to pull off ahead of the second leg at the Etihad next Wednesday, after a thrilling 3-3 draw earlier this week.

Taking their eye off the ball domestically could be a grave error with the Clasico approaching.

Resurgent rivals Barcelona, second, visit the Santiago Bernabeu on April 21, desperate for a way back into the title race so they can defend their crown.

Copa del Rey runners-up Mallorca are enjoying a strong season and despite not being able to claim the club’s first cup trophy since 2003, will get a heroes’ welcome at their Son Moix stadium.

Javier Aguirre’s team, 15th, will need to turn their focus back to LaLiga quickly too, sitting only six points clear of the relegation zone with eight matches remaining.

If Ancelotti decides to rotate his squad to keep players sharp for the Champions League, Mallorca could profit, although the Italian has plenty of strong options in reserve.

Brahim Diaz, Joselu and veteran Luka Modric could all potentially play, while defender Eder Militao could be given his first start after his long-term knee injury.

Ancelotti indicated his forwards – leading goalscorer Jude Bellingham and Brazilian duo Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo – ended the City clash having given their all.

“The work they did up front was very good… maybe they didn’t have their usual freshness, they did fantastic defensive work that let us have control of the game,” said the coach.

 

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