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Primera División

  • May 21, 2011
  • • 12:00 PM
  • • Estadio La Rosaleda, Málaga
  • Referee: Carlos Clos Gomez
  • • Attendance: 28963

La Liga preview: Malaga - Barcelona

La Liga preview: Malaga - Barcelona

Pep Guardiola's side finishes another successful domestic campaign with a match against the in form Andalucians.

Malaga (4-3-1-2):
Caballero; Gamez, Stadsgaard, Weligton, Mtiliga; Fernandez, Camacho, Duda; Maresca; Baptista, Rondon

Having been dismissed last weekend, Argentine international center back Martin Demichelis will be banned from this encounter, while Eliseu’s yellow card against Athletic Bilbao also pushed him over the disciplinary limit. Ignacio Camacho and Duda will make returns from suspension, though.

Striker Julio Baptista is doubtful due to a muscular problem, while Rondon remains injured.
Barcelona (4-3-3):
Valdes; Alves, Mascherano, Pique, Abidal; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Villa
After the wholesale rotation of last week, Pep Guardiola may choose to deploy his strongest XI so that no rustiness creeps in before next weekend’s Champions League final.

Everyone in the Catalans’ squad is fit to some extent, with Carles Puyol and Gabriel Milito both joining in Thursday’s training session, though the two center backs should still be considered doubtful. Adriano, meanwhile, shall be fit.

  • Malaga may be firmly in the heart of the Primera Division table, but it is top of the form charts, having won five of the last eight games.

  • Despite this recent surge, the Andalusian outfit still hasn’t fared well at home this season. Only Almeria has won fewer points than its 24.

  • Los Boquerones have lost 65 goals this season – the same number as Real Sociedad – and if they concede more than the Basques on Saturday, they could well finish as the league’s worst defensive side.

  • In the last 10 matches, the club only lost six goals, winning five of its last six outings.

  • Barcelona, though the league’s second top scorers, has only mustered 11 goals in its last eight fixtures.

  • While the Blaugrana’s attack has been misfiring strangely, they’ve been robust at the back, conceding only five times during that period – fewer than any other side.

  • In matches that are tied at halftime, Barca has gone on to win seven of its 11 fixtures, which is a better record than any team in the league.

  • Pep Guardiola’s side is unbeaten against teams in the top half of the standings, yet it has twice been beaten when facing a lower 10 outfit.

  • With only 16 goals conceded in 32 games, Victor Valdes will claim the Zamora Trophy ahead of Iker Casillas.

  • Barcelona’s goal difference is an incredible +71, but at one stage earlier this season it was threatening to break the 100 barrier.

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