MADRID, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho faces another selection dilemma as his side travels to play Mallorca on Sunday evening.
The continued injuries to defenders, Alvaro Arbeloa, Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao, (although Coentrao and Arbeloa are on the way to recovery) means his side are still without specialist full backs.
Mourinho remedied the problem against Celta and Borussia Dortmund by using Michael Essien as a left back, but although the adaptable midfielder had few problems last weekend, his limitations were exposed in the Champions League against Borussia as Madrid slipped to a 2-1 defeat.
Essien looking out of place was compounded with a muscle injury to Sami Khedira, who will be out of action for around three weeks with a calf strain.
Mourinho has tried playing Luka Modric and Kaka alongside Xabi Alonso in Khedira's role, but the fact is that although they are both technically more gifted than the German, Madrid have not looked as fluid, nor as solid in defense.
That means he may be tempted to now play Essien alongside Alonso and finally give a chance to B-team defender, Nacho Fernandez, who many expected to play against Celta.
The main reason for that is Nacho is a natural left back and will be able to push forward more comfortable down the flank than Essien, who has tended to limit himself to defensive duties.
Against a Mallorca side that is well organized in defense and expected to sit deep and look to hit Madrid with long passes, it is vital Madrid's full backs use the full width of the pitch.
Madrid could go into the game 11 points behind FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, both of whom kick off before they do and have reasonably accessible rivals. As a result anything other than a win would be a disastrous result for Mourinho's side and the pressure will be on.
Mallorca meanwhile have slipped after a fine start to the season, but are still tough to beat and in Tomer Hemed and Victor Casadesus have a pair of formidable strikers who along with recent loan signing Andreu Fontas will be a constant threat from set pieces - Madrid's Achilles heel all season.