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Jul 3, 2020 at 9pm UK
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Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Mallorca - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Mallorca - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Mallorca, including team news and predicted lineups.

Atletico Madrid will be looking to continue their excellent run of form in La Liga when they welcome relegation-threatened Mallorca to the Wanda Metropolitano on Friday night.

Diego Simeone's side will enter the match off the back of a 2-2 draw with Barcelona on Tuesday night, while Mallorca, who occupy 18th spot in the table, thumped Celta Vigo 5-1 on home soil.

Match preview

Atletico stretched their unbeaten run in La Liga to 11 matches on Tuesday night when they twice came from behind to claim a point in a 2-2 draw with Barca at Camp Nou.

Saul Niguez scored twice from the penalty spot as Simeone's side held the champions on home soil, and it was an important result for the Red and Whites in their fight to claim a top-four finish.

The capital side have been in excellent form since returning to action last month, winning four and drawing two of their six league matches to rise from sixth into third; they are currently two points clear of fourth-placed Sevilla and seven clear of fifth-placed Getafe, who are away to Real Madrid on Thursday night.

Not since the start of February have Atletico lost in La Liga, while they have not been beaten at the Wanda Metropolitano in the league since the start of December, which is an indication of the size of the task facing Mallorca, who will enter the match off the back of a fine result.

Interestingly, two of the last three La Liga meetings between these two sides have finished level, although Atletico ran out 2-0 winners in the reverse match back in September.

Mallorca secured a spot in Spain's top flight for the 2019-20 campaign courtesy of their playoff success in the Segunda Division last term. Vicente Moreno's side have found it tough on their return to this level, losing 20 of their 33 matches and picking up just 29 points to sit 18th in the table.

The visitors were hugely impressive on Tuesday night as they thumped Celta 5-1, picking up their first victory in Spain's top flight since before the lockdown period in the process.

There is still a lot of work to be done if Mallorca are to stay at this level as they are currently five points behind 17th-placed Celta, who will certainly be looking over their shoulder at this stage.

The omens are not exactly terrific for Los Bermellones heading into Friday's contest, though, as they have the worst away record in La Liga this term, losing 13 of their 16 matches and picking up just five points, while Atletico have the third-best home record in Spain's top flight during the 2019-20 campaign.

Atletico La Liga form: DWWWWD

Mallorca La Liga form: LLDLLW

Team News

Croatian defender Sime Vrsaljko remains on the sidelines for Atletico through injury, but Simeone's squad is otherwise in good shape.

There are expected to be changes from the side that started at Camp Nou last time out, with Kieran Trippier, Alvaro Morata and Joao Felix all in line to return to the starting XI.

Stefan Savic and Koke should also return from suspension to feature, while Hector Herrera could earn a spot in the middle of the park, with Thomas Partey and Diego Costa likely to be among those to drop out.

As for Mallorca, leading scorer Ante Budimir and key centre-back Martin Valjent are both suspended due to the yellow cards that they picked up in the heavy win over Celta.

Lumor Agbenyenu and Leonardo Koutris are both on the sidelines through injury, meanwhile, meaning that the visitors will be far from at full strength for Friday's contest.

The absence of Budimir, who has 12 La Liga goals to his name, is a big one for the strugglers, and his unavailability could open the door for Junior Lago to join Juan Hernandez in the final third.

Atletico possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Gimenez, Lodi; Koke, Saul, Herrera, Correa; Felix, Morata

Mallorca possible starting lineup:
Reina; Pozo, Sedlar, Raillo, Gamez; Rodriguez, Sevilla, Mohammed, Kubo; Hernandez; Lago

We say: Atletico 2-0 Mallorca

Mallorca will enter the match off the back of a thumping win over Celta, but it is difficult to back against an Atletico side that are in excellent form at the moment. We expect it to be a comfortable evening for Simeone's side, who will be keen to return to winning ways on home soil.

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