Soccer Spain LaLiga Prediction
Mallorca vs Osasuna - Match Preview
⚽ 31 March 2023 - 19:00 GMT +0
Time is running out for both Mallorca and Osasuna to revive their dying dreams of European football, with a gap of nine and seven points respectively from sixth-placed Villarreal to bridge in the final 12 rounds of this La Liga (LL) season. Both clubs went into the international break having collected one solitary point from their last three LL fixtures, which was particularly bruising for the home side who can’t make a commanding case for deserving more after already losing to relegation contenders Elche, Espanyol and Cádiz in 2023.
Manager Javier Aguirre hit out at the league for assigning Mallorca what he described as a “screwed” schedule of mid-afternoon kickoffs in recent months, suggesting his team was being forced to play in warm conditions to suit Korean audiences watching star midfielder Lee Kang-in on television. Those viewers have now been subjected to six consecutive LL games without a clean sheet for their side, largely contributing to their slump in form (W1, D1, L4).
The time off will have been greatly appreciated by Osasuna’s squad as relieved manager Jagoba Arrasate admitted after their last outing that “we have to disconnect, recharge our batteries, clear our minds and work to return to being … that team that finds the goal with some ease”. Upon return, his side faces a gruelling three games in nine days including a cut-throat Copa del Rey semi-final tie with Athletic Bilbao.
Goals have indeed been tough to come by for Arrasate’s side, who failed to find the net in 75% of their last eight LL outings (W1, D3, L4) after being held scoreless in 28% of their first 18 games of the league season. They will hope they’ve resolved some of those attacking issues during the break, especially as Osasuna have compiled a respectable LL away record against opposition outside the top six (W3, D5, L1) to keep their top-six ambitions flickering.
📋 Players to watch: Vedat Muriqi has found the back of the net in three of Mallorca’s last eight home LL fixtures, whilst Osasuna’s Aimar Oroz returns from a yellow card suspension as the only scorer of the reverse H2H.
⚡ Hot stat: All but two of Mallorca’s 13 LL home games this season have produced fewer than 2.5 total goals.
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