Tomorrow evening La Liga restarts with the Sevilla derby, Sevilla v Real Betis kicking off at 22.00 our time. All games will be behind closed doors and all eyes here on the island will be on Real Mallorca v Barcelona on Saturday evening at 22.00. There have been calls for fans to return to games depending on how their region has coped with the virus. That would mean we’d be ahead of most teams when it came to a return. Interesting that they changed the name of the Stadium this week to Visit Mallorca Estadi. It’s an initiative to bring more tourists to the island and I’ve always said that having Mallorca in the top flight will attract tourists to watch the football. It will run for the rest of this season and next as well. Remember that Mallorca don’t own the ground, Palma City Council do, so I see it as a way of leveraging talks over the redevelopment of the current stadium or looking for a site for a new one. Either way it’s a great gesture from the Club.
Players that won’t be available for Mallorca are, left-back Lumor who is unfortunately out with a torn calf for the rest of the season. Abdon Prats the hero of last years play-off win over Deportivo La Coruña is also out for up to three weeks with muscle problems. Not such bad news for Barca with their coach Quique Setién speaking about the fitness of the returning Luis Suarez. “He could start against Mallorca but it would be ‘reckless’ to let him play all 90 minutes”. He’ll be back partnering Lionel Messi who is once again the league’s leading scorer (19 goals in 22 appearances). Along with Antoine Griezmann they make a formidable front three who destroyed Mallorca in the Nou Camp 5-2. Messi got a hat-trick and Suarez and Griezmann one each.
Setien’s resources are especially stretched though in defence. With Clement Lenglet suspended and Samuel Umtiti returning from the latest of many injuries, Gerard Pique could be the only available central defender for Saturday’s trip.
Young Uruguayan Ronald Araujo, who was sent off 14 minutes into his only previous first-team appearance, could be thrown in at the deep end. I’m looking forward to the game, it’s a shame we can’t be there but I’d take a draw now if you offered it to me.
The Full Fixture List, kick-off Spanish times;
Thursday 22.00: Sevilla v Real Betis
Friday 18.30: Granada v Getafe
Friday 22.00: Valencia v Levante
Saturday 14.00: Espanyol v Alaves
Saturday 17.00: Celta Vigo v Villareal
Saturday 19.30: Leganés v Real Valladolid
Saturday 22.00: Real Mallorca v Barcelona
Sunday 14.00: Athletico Bilbao v Athletico Madrid
Sunday 19.30: Real Madrid v Eibar
Sunday 22.00: Real Sociedad v Osasuna
RCD Mallorca has recorded its highest-ever data for monthly engagement across social media during May. According to analytics, RCD Mallorca was ranked fifth among La Liga clubs for engagement across all social channels with an impressive average of 2600 interactions registered per post. Sitting behind just FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Real Betis for views totalled throughout the month, YouTube exhibited the largest growth of all platforms considered, totalling 1.3 million views despite the continued suspension of competitive football due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s very impressive considering they’re the 16th best supported club in La Liga with an average of 14,159 and are currently lying in 18th place in the league.
The Segunda B play-offs featuring Atlético Baleares, UD Ibiza and Pena Deportiva will be held in Marbella, Malaga and Algeciras. The games will be played on the 18th, 19th, 23rd and 26th of July and the draw will be made on June 25th in Marbella.
Take care everyone, I’m back at the Weekend.
Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online atwww.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!