MX23RW : Monday, January 20 07:29:37| >> :600:3442165:3442165:
Dec 7, 2019 at 8pm UK at ​Camp Nou (Barcelona)
Attendance: 71,072
Griezmann (7'), Messi (17', 41', 83'), Suarez (43')
FT(HT: 4-1)
Budimir (35', 64')

Preview: Barcelona vs. Mallorca - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Barcelona and Mallorca, including team news and predicted lineups.

Barcelona will be looking for their sixth straight win in all competitions when they welcome Mallorca to Camp Nou on Saturday night.

Ernesto Valverde's side are currently top of La Liga with 31 points, while Mallorca sit just outside the relegation zone with 14 points to show from their 15 league matches this term.

Match preview

Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi celebrate a goal during Barcelona's Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund on November 27, 2019© Reuters

Lionel Messi scored a stunning late winner against Atletico Madrid last weekend as Barca picked up a huge three points at the Wanda Metropolitano. It did appear that the two teams would be sharing the spoils in the capital, but Messi's 86th-minute strike saw the reigning champions triumph.

Barca have now won their last five matches in all competitions having entered last weekend's clash with Atletico off the back of a 3-1 success over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, which saw them book their spot in the knockout round of the competition with a game to spare.

Since losing 3-1 at Levante at the start of November, Valverde's side have picked up nine points from a possible nine in the league, recording wins over Celta Vigo, Leganes and Atletico.

The Catalan giants face four more league games before the winter break in Spain kicks in, including the small matter of El Clasico at home to Real Madrid on December 18. Barca could actually be second by the time that they take to the field on Saturday with Los Blancos in action against Espanyol earlier in the day.

It would be a huge surprise if Valverde's side did not end the weekend top of the table, but they have already lost three league matches this season, which is the same number as the entirety of the 2018-19 campaign.

Lago Junior is mobbed by Mallorca teammates after scoring against Real Madrid on October 19, 2019© Reuters

Mallorca are back in La Liga for the first time since 2012-13 having been promoted via the Segunda Division playoffs last season. They actually played in the third tier during the 2017-18 campaign but are now back in Spain's top flight and will be desperate to consolidate this term.

Any position above the bottom three would be considered as a success for the club this season and 17th is the spot that they occupy at this stage of the season. Indeed, they have collected 14 points from their 15 matches to sit just outside of the relegation zone heading into the next set of fixtures.

Mallorca have only won one of their last six in the league, which came at home to Villarreal on November 10. They did beat Real Madrid on home soil earlier this season but have lost their last two to Levante and Real Betis.

It is a tough ask to expect Vicente Moreno's side to pick up a positive result on Saturday night, particularly when considering that they were thumped 5-0 during their last visit to Camp Nou in April 2013.

Los Bermellones have not actually beaten Barca in Spain's top flight since May 2009, while their last victory at Camp Nou came in May 2008. The visitors are the huge underdogs, although the fact that they have already beaten one of the big two this season means that they are capable of picking up a result.

Barcelona form: WWLWWW

Mallorca form: LDLWLL

Team News

Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele in action with Alaves' Ximo Navarro on April 23, 2019© Reuters

Barca will again be without the services of full-backs Nelson Semedo and Jordi Alba through injury, while Ousmane Dembele is out until the early stages of 2020 with a hamstring problem.

The Spanish champions have no fresh injury concerns from the win over Atletico last weekend, though, while Sergio Busquets is available having missed out against Atletico through suspension.

There are not expected to be many alterations from the team that started against Diego Simeone's side, with Antoine Griezmann again joining Luis Suarez and Messi in the final third.

Messi will take to the field for the first time since winning his sixth Ballon d'Or crown, with the Argentine pipping Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk to the individual honour earlier this week.

Gerard Pique had to be substituted against Atletico after picking up a heavy blow to his knee, but the centre-back is available to take to the field this weekend.

As for Mallorca, Lumor Agbenyenu is suspended after being sent off against Betis last weekend, while Cucho Hernandez and Iddrisu Baba are on the sidelines through injury.

Josep Sene and Junior Lago could both come into the starting team, while there should once again be a spot for on-loan Real Madrid midfielder Takefusa Kubo.

Barcelona possible starting lineup: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Firpo; De Jong, Busquets, Arthur; Messi, Suarez, Griezmann

Mallorca possible starting lineup: Reina; Gamez, Valjent, Raillo, Sene; Sevilla, Lago, Kubo; Rodriguez, Budimir, Febas

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We say: Barcelona 3-0 Mallorca

Barca have not always been at their free-flowing best this season, but Valverde's side are on a strong run of form at the moment. We are finding it difficult to predict an upset on Saturday evening, particularly when considering Mallorca's recent results.

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Who will win Saturday's La Liga clash between Barcelona and Mallorca?

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