After a week that has seen Argentine midfielder Ariel Ibagaza quizzed over late night meals and Yugoslav midfielder Veljko Paunovic fly off the handle at reporters, second-to-bottom Real Mallorca will put their off-field problems to one side and aim to drag themselves out of the relegation zone when they travel to Madrid to face Rayo Vallecano today. Mallorca coach Sergio Kresic has finally realised his “this is a final” motivational speech is failing to work and switched it this week to the “here starts a new season” one instead. He has also said of today's crucial match against 18th place Rayo that the players should be “all for one and one for all.” The classic Three Musketeers quote may be in reference to the number of points Kresic is after today or to his attacking trident of Ibagaza, Samuel Eto'o and Albert Luque, who will resort to the positions that made them such an exciting unit under Luis Aragones last season. However, last season's “Musketeers” were much more deadly due to the cunning of Finidi George and Alvaro Novo down either wing. With Finidi long gone, Alvaro Novo far from the player he was last year, and Kresic opting for a conservative five man defence this afternoon it is unlikely Mallorca's attack will be as potent as last season. Kresic knows defeat to Rayo will leave Mallorca not just low in the table, but also extremely low in spirits and hopes his defensive wall will at least guarantee a draw. If it doesn't, the Croat's job could be on the line and Mallorca will find themselves in an extremely tricky predicament at the bottom of the table.

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