Javier Aguirre (63 years) vs. Manuel Pellegrini (68 years). They face each other this afternoon (7:30 p.m.) the two oldest First Division coaches, but Mallorca-Betis in itself is already a classic: 33 have faced each other in Palma, with 17 local wins, 8 draws and 8 Andalusian victories, the last three seasons ago in an exhibition by the French Fekir, who will again this afternoon be the most dangerous player in a rival that arrives as co-leader at the Son Moix stadium on the day it opens, still unfinished, the new grandstand of Son Moix.
All are incentives this afternoon at the stadium: an attractive rival, one of those who also summon the public, the first home game of the season and the premiere of the new stand. Enough arguments to intuit a magnificent entrance provided, of course, that the weather allows it, which seems to be the case. It is a great match and as such you have to prepare it.
Mallorca arrives with the baggage of the point achieved last Monday in San Mamés after an extraordinary game of Rajkovic, while Betis will set foot on the pitch as co-leaders alongside Atlético de Madrid and Villarreal. Of course, he will do it loaded with casualties because he has only been able to move 17 footballers to Palma. In any case, Pellegrini has more than enough to present a very competitive eleven.
There shouldn’t be any news either in Aguirre’s starting team, which It will be the same one that tied in San Mamés. Angel is recovered, but the Korean Kang he won the title on Monday and will be the companion of Muriqi in an attack to which the Mexican coach has asked for “more aggressiveness and daring.”
At yesterday’s press conference Manuel Pellegrini praised his counterpart in the Majorcan team, the Mexican Javier Aguirre, who “has a story behind”, so his return to the Spanish League is “a joy” and wished him “luck in the 36 games he has left” starting this Saturday. Will be “a difficult match, like all of the League”since the vermilion “have added in Bilbao and it is a team that usually gets points at home”.
For his part, Aguirre insisted on the need to shield Son Moix: «Last season we did not do badly at home, despite the result against Granada, and that is our goal again, make us strong in our stadium», said the coach, who once again insisted on the need for the team to go deeper in attack. «In Bilbao we did not link three passes and that cannot be. We must be more daring. Then you can fail, but at least you have to try.
Pita González Fuertes, with whom Mallorca has never won a First Division match, and Jaime Latre will be in the VAR. The outcome of a game that will define the weight of Aguirre’s squad will largely depend on his success or failure in the absence of the missing signings finally arriving.