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La Liga preview: Mallorca v. Barcelona

Mallorca v. Barcelona preview

10 Lionel Messi from Argentina of FC Barcelona defended by 26 Take Kubo from Japan of RCD Mallorca during the La Liga Santander match between FC Barcelona and RCD Mallorca in Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona 07 of December of 2019, Spain. (Photo by Xavier Bonilla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

NurPhoto via Getty Images

Barcelona’s first match back from the coronavirus pause is straight-forward on paper, but hosts Mallorca have been a tricky out at the Son Moix.

The club owned by Americans including former NBA star Steve Nash has scored some memorable results this year, beating Real Madrid 1-0, hammering Valencia 4-1, and toppling Villarreal 3-1.

Barcelona clobbered Mallorca in their first meeting. Lionel Messi had a hat trick with Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez added goals. Suarez is back from injury and Messi is well-rested for the title fight.

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The league leaders have a two-point advantage on Real and may not be able to hold it but matches like this are too big of an ask. Even if Barca’s not tight at the back, it’ll be fresh up front.

No one’s doomed yet in La Liga’s relegation scrap and Mallorca’s 18th-place position is a win shy of 15th.

Croatian forward Ante Budimir leads Mallorca in goals with nine, and no teammate has added more than five.

Real Madrid loanee Takefusa Kubo, 19, has impressed in his first full season in Europe. The club also has Ki Sung-yueng, a major add who made his debut just before the coronavirus pause.

La Liga score, how to watch

  • TV Channels: beIN Sports USA
  • Stream Live: Via beinSports
  • When: 4 p.m. ET Saturday