Barcelona - Malaga Preview: Pair face-off for second time in four days
The two sides met on Sunday, with the Catalans running out 3-1 winners, and Manuel Pellegrini's men will hope to make amends on Wednesday
By Alec Fenn
Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas
Pedro, Messi, Iniesta
Sanchez, Demichelis, Weligton, Monreal
Joaquin, Isco, Eliseu
There will be cases of deja-vu all round when Barcelona and Malaga face one another for the second time in four days on Wednesday evening.
The two sides clashed at La Rosaleda in La Liga on Sunday, with the Catalans running out 3-1 winners, and the first-leg of the quarter-final of the Copa del Rey will give Manuel Pellegrini's side the opportunity to seek revenge.
On the surface, the Blaugrana's weekend success was another comfortable victory, but the Andalusians did enough to suggest they could trouble Tito Vilanova's side at Camp Nou and that should make for an intriguing encounter.
Both sides are able to boast clean bills of health and may opt to field the same line-ups that took to the field on Sunday, as Barca look to continue their 100 per cent start to 2013.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Goals from Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara sealed Barcelona's 3-1 win over Malaga on Sunday.
- The Catalans have scored 15 goals in their first four games of 2013.
- The Blaugrana are the current holders of the Copa del Rey, having beaten Athletic Bilbao 4-1 in last season's final.
- Tito Vilanova returned to the dug-out on Sunday after missing the 5-0 win over Cordoba because of a medical appointment in New York, in relation to his recent cancer relapse.
- Malaga began the season in financial and ownership turmoil, but have since gone on to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, the Copa del Rey quarter-finals, as well as sitting fifth in La Liga.
- The Andalusians were beaten 4-1 by Barca on their last trip to Camp Nou in May 2012.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Barcelona 3-0 Malaga
- 18.12 %
FC Barcelona 4-1 Malaga
- 16.82 %
FC Barcelona 4-0 Malaga
- 16.14 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 26, 2014||FC Barcelona 3 - Malaga 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Aug 25, 2013||Malaga 0 - FC Barcelona 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jun 1, 2013||FC Barcelona 4 - Malaga 1|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 24, 2013||Malaga 2 - FC Barcelona 4|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 16, 2013||FC Barcelona 2 - Malaga 2|
|Mar 8, 2014||Valladolid 1 - FC Barcelona 0||LIGA|
|Mar 2, 2014||FC Barcelona 4 - Almeria 1||LIGA|
|Feb 22, 2014||Real Sociedad 3 - FC Barcelona 1||LIGA|
|Feb 18, 2014||Manchester City FC 0 - FC Barcelona 2||UCL|
|Feb 15, 2014||FC Barcelona 6 - Rayo Vallecano 0||LIGA|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|21||Sebastián Fernández Miglierina||Striker|
|9||Roque Santa Cruz||Striker|
The 25-year-old had his critics in the early part of the season, but he produced one of his best displays in a Blaugrana shirt on Sunday - scoring his side's second in the process - and he will hope to repeat that performance on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old Argentine scored a spectacular consolation for his side at the weekend, but it is from open play that he is most dangerous. Blessed with agility and quick feet, the hosts will have to watch out for his tricky style and quality in the final third.
Tito Vilanova's side may well have emerged victorious on Sunday, but Malaga have enough attacking quality to nick a goal and set-up an interesting second-leg at La Rosaleda.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed