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Aug 21, 2021 at 4pm UK

Lejeune (38'), Duarte (45+2')
Duarte (66')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Nino (80')
Maffeo (60'), Ndiaye (72'), Rodriguez (90+5')

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

:Headline: Preview: Alaves vs. Mallorca - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Alaves and Mallorca, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
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Alaves will look to bounce back from a disappointing 4-1 opening La Liga defeat when they return to action on Saturday, as they play host to Mallorca.

The hosts were comfortably defeated by Real Madrid in the first game of the campaign, while their visitors earned a commendable point in a 1-1 draw with Real Betis.

Match preview

Throughout the entirety of last season, Alaves found themselves in a heated battle for survival and occupied a spot in the bottom three on several occasions over the course of the campaign.

El Glorioso dropped into the relegation zone at the half-way mark, and while they enjoyed a brief improvement, they quickly fell back down, sitting dangerously in the drop zone with 10 games left to play.

While they looked worryingly close to falling to the second tier, Alaves found a crucial run of good form following the late appointment of Javier Calleja, winning four of their last nine matches and collecting 15 points to rise out of the bottom three and eventually achieve a 16th-placed finish.

Having narrowly escaped the drop thanks to an impressive run of results, they head into the new season with the hopes of a slightly more comfortable finish, although they did not have the ideal start with a home clash against title-chasing Real Madrid.

A Karim Benzema brace and a Nacho goal saw Los Blancos lead 3-0, but Joselu restored a small degree of hope on the hour mark by converting a penalty to pull a goal back, only for the capital outfit to see the result out and grab a fourth in the dying minutes through Vinicius Junior.

Calleja's men will now look to bounce back and put their first points of the season on the board when they take on newly-promoted Mallorca.

Saturday's visitors had a mixed start to last season in Spain's second tier but quickly improved to rise to top spot.

With eight games to go, Luis Garcia's men were leapfrogged by Espanyol, but they still collected 14 points from the final six games to ensure they earned an immediate promotion back to the top flight with 82 points after relegation in the 2019-20 season.

As a result, they head into the new La Liga season with the ultimate aim of survival, but they faced a tough opening test against a Real Betis side who finished sixth last season.

Brian Olivan gave Mallorca the lead in the first half, but the visitors drew level on the hour mark through a Manolo Reina own goal, with the game finishing 1-1.

Despite the disappointment of throwing a narrow lead away, Garcia's side should certainly take the positives from a commendable point against a threatening outfit, and they will look to add their first victory at the second time of asking on Saturday in their bid to steer clear of the bottom end of the division.

Alaves La Liga form:
  • L

Mallorca La Liga form:
  • D

Team News

Alaves come into the game with a fully fit squad, and Calleja may opt to make changes from the side that was thrashed 4-1 on the opening day.

Joselu will certainly keep his place in the front line, having hit a crucial tally of 11 league goals as they avoided the drop last season, and opened his account for the new campaign last time out.

Attacking midfielder Manu Garcia impressed against Real Madrid, and the former Manchester City player could be one to watch for Alaves this season.

Mallorca's new signing Jaume Costa remains out of action through injury, having missed the first game of the season, while Antonio Sanchez is also ruled out.

Left-back Brian Olivan found the net against Real Betis, and he should continue to offer attacking threat from the left flank alongside dangerous winger Dani Rodriguez.

Alaves possible starting lineup:
Pacheco; Navarro, Lejeune, Laguardia, Duarte; Pina, Moya; Rioja, Garcia, Mendez; Joselu

Mallorca possible starting lineup:
Reina; Maffeo, Valjent, Raillo, Olivan; Baba, Sevilla, Galarreta; Mboula, A Rodriguez, D Rodriguez

We say: Alaves 1-1 Mallorca

While they suffered a heavy defeat on the opening day, Alaves showed some positive signs against Real Madrid and face a much more manageable test on Saturday, although Mallorca will present a unique challenge as they come in on a high from promotion and an impressive opening point.

We put these sides on a fairly level playing field and expect both teams to find the net, while we give neither a clear advantage.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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