Spain

Mallorca v Barcelona

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Puyol and Pique: Back from injury

Puyol and Pique: Back from injury

Real Mallorca play host to league leaders Barcelona at Iberostar Stadium on Sunday evening as they look to arrest an alarming run of defeats.

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The Vermillions are currently struggling for results in the Primera Division, losing all of their last five fixtures.

In stark contrast, Barca have made their best ever start in the Spanish top flight, recording nine wins and one draw to sit three clear at the top.

Mallorca boss Joaquin Caparros will have to make do without the services of forward Giovani dos Santos, who is struggling to shrug off a thigh injury sustained in the 1-0 defeat to Deportivo La Coruna last Saturday.

Right-back Ximo is hoping to recover from a knee problem in time for Sunday's clash, but Nunes, Antonio Lopez, Joao Victor (all knee) and Javi Marquez (ankle) remain on the sidelines.

Barca boos Tito Vilanova, meanwhile, must make the decision whether or not to hand a start to fit-again defender Gerard Pique.

The 25-year-old made his first-team return in the Champions League defeat to Celtic in midweek, coming on as a substitute for the final 20 minutes of the encounter.

Fellow centre-back and skipper Carles Puyol returned to training this week following an elbow injury, but he is not expected to start.

However, Adriano (hamstring), Thiago Alcantara and Isaac Cuenca (both knee) are still on the treatment table.

On a side note, Lionel Messi needs one more goal to equal Brazil legend Pele's record of 75 in a calendar year.

Posted: 10/11/12 15:43

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