Real Mallorca v Napoli
Trofeu Ciutat de Palma 2011
Saturday 13th August, 11pm kick off BST
Real Mallorca will present their squad for the 2011/2012 season in front of fans for the first time since the summer’s changes. The Iberostar Estadi crowd will be introduced to their new squad in the official player presentation due to start at 10pm BST. And then, at 11pm, Mallorca will take on Italian Serie A side Napoli in the Trofeu Ciutat de Palma (Catalan, City of Palma Trophy).
It’s the first real test Laudrup and his squad will face in the build up to the season. Whilst Groningen and the other Dutch sides all gave Mallorca a good exercise, Napoli will bring an altogether different threat. The Italians finished third in Serie A last season, by far eclipsing original Trofeu rivals Fiorentina. This is the final dress rehearsal. A chance for Laudrup to test his strongest XI against his strongest opposition.
The Dane has already been dealt a triple blow ahead of the Trofeu with Juan Calatayud, Chico and Michael Pereira all ruled out with injury. Only Pereira was likely to make the first XI, however.
Considering the strength of the opposition, it is likely that Laudrup will field a 4-2-3-1 formation. The main question of the lineup will be which role Sergio Tejera will be given. A central midfield role will see Chori Castro return to the XI at left wing. Or, if Tejera plays on the left wing, João Victor will play alongside Martí to give a bit more defensive stability.
It can be assumed that Zuiverloon and Cáceres will take on the full back roles, whilst the wanted Jonathan de Guzmán will lead the attacking line of midfield. New signing Alejandro Alfaro will likely be thrown in at the deep end and take a role on the right wing with Emilio Nsue replacing Pierre Webó as the lone frontman.
Make no mistake. This is still preseason, but the whole of Mallorca would love to see a performance and a result to go with it to ease nerves ahead of the new campaign. They appear to have the squad to survive another La Liga season with a bit more comfort than last, how much of a litmus test will Napoli prove to be?
Zuiverloon – Nunes – Ramis – Cáceres
Martí – João Victor
Alfaro – de Guzmán – Tejera
EDIT: According to Mallorca Diario, Jonathan de Guzmán is set to join Villarreal for between €6.6 million and €7 million with the player rejecting an offer from Rubin Kazan. Mallorca Diario suggest that the deal will be announced after today so that the player presentation and Trofeu Ciutat de Palma are both received well by fans. If true, de Guzmán will ofcourse not play today. Thus, Tejera would play in de Guzmán’s role and Chori Castro will play on the left wing.