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Jonathan Cordingley 29th Oct 2010 - 17:15

Monday night La Liga preview

Mallorca v Levante, 20:00

While credit must be given to the Barralets for their surprising 2-1 away victory over Valencia last weekend, questions must be asked as to why Mallorca can draw with teams like Barca and Real yet lose to lesser opposition like Sporting or Espanyol.

The obvious thing to look at is that through Laudrup's clever tactics and motivation qualities, his charges are able to raise their game against the big boys.

Given that Mallorca (4/6) are usually good at home, it's possible that Laudrup expects his team to simply go out and win against teams like Espanyol with minimum need for tactical guidance or motivation.

Whatever the case may be, the islanders have only lost twice so far this season and, despite how poor they were on the day, the Espanyol game was probably a freakish, one off result.

As for the Sporting defeat: Despite Gijon being considered a lesser team than Mallorca in terms of history and success, El Molinon is a difficult place to visit - just ask Sevilla who were crushed there a couple of weeks ago - and Mallorca's loss should therefore bring no shame to the club.

The penalty awarded to Mallorca at the Mestalla last weekend could, however, be classed as shameful (officiating) as no matter how many times I watch the replay, I can see no justification for a penalty - In my eyes, Mallorca's Webo simply missed his kick and any perceived contact prior to that was not enough to warrant a foul.

Still, take what you're given, no manager or player argues against good fortune and Mallorca probably deserved to beat Valencia.

Back to tonight's game and it's fair to say that the visitors to Son Moix, 14th placed Levante (9/2), have made great improvements recently: After losing their first three games, the Valencia based club have won in Almeria, beaten Sociedad at home, drawn in Pamplona and, most impressively, held Real Madrid to a goalless draw in Valencia.

Levante did, however, lose 2-1 away to Espanyol last weekend, but the Catalan club have a 100% record at home and had to survive some hairy moments as Levante bombarded their goal in the closing stages; much like Mallorca's loss to Sporting, there is no shame in this defeat.

On to goals markets now and with 24 scored in 6 Monday night La Liga games, we still have an average of four goals per game. However, after Sociedad's 3-0 defeat of Deportivo last Monday, the astonishing record of every game containing at least four goals has now been shattered.

Regardless of records being broken, I would have always looked towards under 2.5 goals (4/5) in a game like this. On the other side of the coin, a 2-1 to Mallorca (15/2) scoreline is not unlikely so over 2.5 goals (19/20) is not without merit either.

My choice in the correct score market is 2-0 to Mallorca (7/1), but I'm taking a risk considering that Levante have scored in every game they've played so far this season and so will also take the 2-1 suggestion mentioned earlier.

I'd give only a slim chance to the islanders failing to score tonight, so if you think that Levante will continue their record and bag at least one goal, "Yes" (10/11) in the both teams to score market could be just what you're looking for.

If you're looking for a scorer, Mallorca's Castro (5/1 to score first, 11/8 anytime) netted a brace in Valencia and overall has three goals to his name in the current campaign.

Encouragingly, loan signing Fernando Cavenaghi (9/2 to score first, 5/4 anytime) scored a brace in Mallorca's 3-1 home Copa Del Rey defeat of Sporting on Wednesday evening. Hopefully he can kick on from this and we may just have ourselves a consistent scorer to bet on in games involving Laudrup's boys.

Consistently scoring in Levante's last two games has been Stuani (9/1 to score first, 5/2 anytime). He bagged one in the Sociedad defeat and two in the cup win at Xerez.

Tonight is Mallorca's chance to show they can do what they are supposed to do and beat a lesser team. I think they'll take it, and quickly.

Recommendation: Mallorca (4/6)

Worth a punt: Double result of Mallorca/Mallorca (8/5)

Enjoy the action and don't forget that you can bet in-play with William Hill Online.


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