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Real Madrid fancied to start important week with a victory

Real Madrid return to action after the international break aiming to retain their place at the top of the La Liga standings.

Madrid head into Saturday’s match at Real Mallorca two points clear of Barcelona, with Atletico Madrid a further point behind in third place.

Zinedine Zidane’s side are odds-on favourites make it five league games without defeat and they look a banker bet to do just that.

Zidane has a few injury worries to contend with ahead of the game, with Luka Modric and Lucas Vazquez both ruled out of the trip to Mallorca.

Gareth Bale picked up a calm problem during Wales’ European Championship qualifier against Croatia, but he is expected to be fit to face Mallorca.

Ferland Mendy and Toni Kroos are also struggling with injuries, although the pair should recover in time for this weekend’s game. Marco Asensio and Nacho remain on the sidelines.

After a sticky start to the new league campaign, Madrid have certainly stepped things up over the past few weeks.

Three successive clean sheets towards the end of last month highlighted Madrid’s improvement and they started October in impressive fashion.

Los Blancos dominated possession against Granada on their way to recording a stylish 4-2 victory at the Bernabeu Stadium.

Eden Hazard scored his first goal for the club and he will be eager to build on his promising performance after struggling for form following his summer move from Chelsea.

While Madrid are flying high at the top of the table, Mallorca have found things tough on their return to the top flight.

Vicente Moreno’s side recorded their second victory of the season with a 2-0 win at home Espanyol in their most recent outing, but they remain in the relegation zone.

Mallorca haven’t beaten Madrid since a 3-1 away victory back in May 2009 and they are expected to struggle this weekend.

Madrid have won seven and drawn one of their eight meetings since then and they are strongly fancied to enhance that record.

The game kicks-off a hugely important week for Madrid as they bid to prove they are genuine contenders for silverware this season.

They travel to face Galatasaray in the Champions League on Tuesday, before visiting Barcelona in La Liga the following Saturday.

Three victories from their next three games would be a big statement of intent from Madrid and would provide the perfect platform for the rest of 2019 and beyond.

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