The Iberostar Estadi will host a mighty clash between two of Spain’s top second division sides: Real Mallorca and Albacete. The stakes could not be any higher with this being the play-off semi final, with the winner over two legs joining either Malaga or Deportivo La Coruna in the final. With everything on the line and fans dreaming of their side jumping into La Liga alongside the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid, this fixture is set to be one to remember.
Real Mallorca vs Albacete Match Preview
Albacete will be extremely confident going into this crucial tie, having beaten their opponents home and away during the season by an aggregate scoreline of 5-1. Of course, Mallorca should have put those defeats behind them long ago with the most recent being in February, however there is no doubt that they will be aiming to seek revenge and eliminate the hosts for this meeting. A victory for Mallorca here would be their first over Albacete since December of 2015, and with the odds stacked against them they will be desperate to prove themselves.
Real Mallorca finished the season in fifth spot, just two points behind Albacete and a single point clear of Deportivo La Coruna. Their form towards the end of last campaign actually derailed their push for an automatic promotion to La Liga completely, winning only once in the final five outings and failing to score in two of the final three matches. In fact, they were rather fortunate that Deportivo La Coruna didn’t take full advantage of their three points earned versus Mallorca, however their stalemate in the penultimate fixture of the season allowed Mallorca to hold fifth place and avoid a difficult affair with Malaga. That loss and two draws against Granada and Extremadura have put Mallorca on the back foot somewhat and considering they were on a run of four wins in five previous to that, supporters will have doubts in the back of their minds as to whether this squad can cope with the pressure.
The visitors should also feel quite disheartened by their end to the season, coming out second best in three of the final four games and winning just two of the last seven. Although they were eight points from second, if Albacete had taken just a win and a draw from the last two games against Malaga and Almeria they would have had a much more favourable two-legged tie with Deportivo La Coruna. That loss on home soil against their fellow promotion hopefuls proved detrimental to belief within the camp, suffering a 3-0 crushing at the hands of Almeria four days afterwards. Even when Malaga went down to ten men, Albacete still couldn’t find a way to level things up despite Roman Zozulya making it 1-2 with more than half an hour remaining. As it is, Albacete will have to make do with what they’ve got and face off against Real Mallorca.
Real Mallorca vs Albacete Team News
Real Mallorca tried to use the 4-4-2 and 4-1-4-1 formation in their last three encounters, none of which came to fruition whatsoever and ultimately led to a disappointing end of season. The 4-2-3-1 that had served them so well earlier in the campaign appeared to get abandoned as it drew to a close for some reason, unbeknown to anyone other than the manager. In this one, we expect that he may return to 4-2-3-1 or attempt to utilize 4-4-2 which also worked quite well during the course of 2018/2019. On the injury front, there is little to report as Real Mallorca should have a full squad available for selection.
In three of the final four outings, Albacete lined up in a 4-4-2, but in the last fixture against Almeria they switched to 4-2-3-1. Perhaps the boss wanted to freshen things up a bit after they had been beaten in two of the last three games, but the latter formation did not exactly work wonders either as their hosts ran out 3-0 victors. The classic 4-4-2 is what we expect to be used once again by Albacete as it is how they played most matches during their winning runs earlier in the season, however it would not come as a surprise if they changed to 4-2-3-1 again if that’s something they’ve been working on. Both Pelayo and Alvaro Arroyo are expected to sit this one out with respective injuries.
Reasons for Real Mallorca vs Albacete Betting Tips
Real Mallorca have had little luck in their recent encounters with Albacete, and considering Albacete have come out on top in four of the last five games involving the pair it is actually a surprise to see that Skybet have odds of 10/3 for Albacete to win this one, and that’s a bet we can’t recommend enough. Assuming that both sides perform to the standard that they have displayed over the past few weeks, especially in the very back end of the season, goalmouth action won’t be an overriding feature of these ninety minutes. For this reason, we think that under 1.5 goals at 13/8 with Skybet is another price you should be taking a punt on.
As we previously mentioned, Albacete have had the better of the results against Real Mallorca regardless of whether it be home or away, and in three of the last four matches between the two they have kept a clean sheet and come away with maximum points. Skybet have Albacete to win to nil at an incredible 5/1, odds that are simply too good to miss out on in all honesty.
Albacete to win at 10/3
Under 1.5 goals at 13/8
Albacete to win to nil at 5/1