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PHOTO: ARCHIVE FCB

Barça will momentarily be just three points adrift of Real Madrid if they manage to get a win at the always tricky Mallorca. So once again, the team has to do what it knows best and continue putting pressure on the leader, who entertain Real Sociedad shortly after. The defending champions have won six league games in a row and these results have helped reduce the difference between themselves and the leaders from ten to six points.

Barça’s excellent streak has coincided with some extraordinary form from Lionel Messi. Since last Tuesday, he’s the highest goalscorer in official matches in club history. He has scored 17 goals in just the last seven games and is the leading scorer in the championship with 34.

Defensive doubts

Barça’s main concern at the Iberostar Estadi is their rearguard. With Alves, Abidal, Adriano and Fontàs all out of action, the first team only has Puyol, Mascherano and Piqué as natural full and centre backs. Therefore, two reserve team defenders, Montoya and Muniesa, will be travelling as well. With them included, 15 members of the 19-man squad are products of the club’s own youth system.

The coaching staff opted for rotations in the last game against Granada and some players may get rested again tonight with the Champions League quarter final clash with AC Milan just around the corner.

In form opponent

But Mallorca are enjoying good times of their own. They haven’t been beaten at home for two months, and have just won eight points out of twelve, including two wins in a row. This has left Joaquín Caparrós’ side comfortably poised in mid table, twelve points clear of the drop. The Balearic Islanders have recovered three key players in Ramis, Castro and Pereira, who were all suspended for the club’s last outing.

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