TEAM NEWS: Messi returns for Barcelona as they travel to Malaga

The league leaders recall a host of players for their match at La Rosaleda, including their Argentine talisman, after he was rested during their Copa del Rey win on Thursday
Barcelona recall Lionel Messi to their starting line-up for tonight's Liga fixture against Malaga, after he was an unused substitute during their comfortable 5-0 Copa del Rey victory over Cordoba on Thursday.

Gerard Pique, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Pedro return to the squad after also being rested for that tie, and all four are named in Tito Vilanova's starting XI this evening.

Argentina international Javier Mascherano partners Pique at centre-back for the Blaugrana, while Dani Alves continues at right-back, although Adriano is now fit enough to be named as a substitute.

David Villa misses out for the Catalan side despite scoring twice against Cordoba after he aggravated a leg injury in training yesterday that he initially sustained in that cup win.

Malaga have chosen to start with Roque Santa Cruz as a lone striker as they host the division's first-placed side, with the Paraguayan forward preferred to former Barcelona star Javier Saviola. Santa Cruz is supported in attack by the trio of Isco, Joaquin and Eliseu.

Elsewhere, Sergio Sanchez takes the place of the suspended Jesus Gamez at right-back for los Boquerones.

Malaga (4-2-3-1):
Willy; Sanchez, Demichelis, Weligton, Monreal; Camacho, Toulalan; Eliseu, Isco, Joaquin; Santa Cruz

Subs: Kameni, Saviola, Seba Fernandez, Iturra, Portillo, Buonanotte, Onyewu

Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Cesc, Messi, Pedro

Subs: Pinto, Puyol, Adriano, Song, Thiago, Alexis, Tello