Preview: Malaga - Barcelona
Both sides will have an eye on a potential last-four meeting with Real Madrid, with the home team on the front foot going into this second leg having scored twice at Camp Nou.
By Charlie Scott
Sanchez, Demichelis, Weligton, Gamez
Joaquin, Isco, Eliseu
Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas
Pedro, Messi, Iniesta
Barcelona and Malaga complete a trio of matches against each other when they play the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarterfinal at La Rosaleda on Thursday evening. Manuel Pellegrini's side currently holds an advantage on away goals in this cup clash after drawing 2-2 at Camp Nou in the first leg last week.
The visitor will be without coach Tito Vilanova as he receives more medical treatment in New York, but can call on all of its 25-man squad after Isaac Cuenca was given the green light to return to competitive action after a long period out with a knee injury.
After drawing against Malaga in the first leg of this fixture last week, the Blaugrana went on to surrender a two-goal lead to lose 3-2 to Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday which marked its first loss in the league this campaign.
Malaga, meanwhile, followed up on its impressive performance at Camp Nou with a 1-1 draw in the Liga at home to Celta Vigo.
The Andalusian side will be without Nacho Monreal after he was sent off in the first leg for a foul on Pedro. However, having exceeded expectations with a weakened side to draw 2-2 last week, it is likely that Pellegrini will recall the likes of Isco, Joaquin, Welligton and Martin Demichelis.
New loan signings Lucas Piazon from Chelsea and Diego Lugano from Paris Saint-Germain may also be included in Malaga's squad.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- A late equalizer from Ignacio Camacho in the first leg secured Malaga an away-goal advantage going into this game, with Manuel Iturra scoring their other goal. Lionel Messi and Carlos Puyol were on the scoresheet for Barcelona in that 2-2 draw.
- Malaga has won just once so far in 2013, when it beat Eibar 4-1 on Jan. 8 in the previous round of the Copa del Rey.
- Diego Buanonotte has enjoyed a prolific start to the calendar year in front of goal for Pellegrini's side, having scored a fine free kick against Barcelona during its 3-1 loss on Jan. 13 and netting twice in that 4-1 victory over Eibar.
- The Blaugrana are the current reigning champions in the Copa del Rey, after they defeated Athletic Bilbao 3-0 in the final of last season's competition.
- Cesc Fabregas (pictured right) has not lost any of the 11 Spanish cup games he has played for Barcelona. In those games he has scored four and supplied seven assists.
- Barcelona has so far conceded 35 goals in 33 games in all competitions this season, at an average of 1.06 per game, compared to 48 in 64 games last season at an average of 0.75 per game.
Top 3 Predictions
Malaga 1-3 Barcelona
- 20.22 %
Malaga 0-3 Barcelona
- 10.93 %
Malaga 1-4 Barcelona
- 8.9 %
|Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 24, 2013||Malaga 2 - Barcelona 4|
|Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 16, 2013||Barcelona 2 - Malaga 2|
|La Liga (LIGA)||Jan 13, 2013||Malaga 1 - Barcelona 3|
|La Liga (LIGA)||May 2, 2012||Barcelona 4 - Malaga 1|
|La Liga (LIGA)||Jan 22, 2012||Malaga 1 - Barcelona 4|
|May 12, 2013||Malaga 0 - Sevilla 0||LIGA|
|May 8, 2013||Real Madrid 6 - Malaga 2||LIGA|
|May 4, 2013||Ciudad de Murcia 1 - Malaga 0||LIGA|
|Apr 28, 2013||Malaga 2 - Getafe 1||LIGA|
|Apr 20, 2013||Valencia 5 - Malaga 1||LIGA|
|11||Sebastián Fernández Miglierina||Striker|
|9||Roque Santa Cruz||Striker|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed