La Liga Preview: Malaga v Real Madrid
Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho lock horns as their sides meet each other in Saturday night La Liga action
By Martin Macdonald
Gamez, Demichelis, Mathijsen, Monreal
Cazorla, Toulalan, Maresca
Joaquin, Van Nistelrooy, Isco
Arbeloa, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo
Kaka, Ozil, Ronaldo
Malaga only have one major injury concern and that is Julio Baptista, who is still recovering from a foot problem. The Brazilian did not take part in Thursday's training session, and it is touch and go whether the former Real Madrid man will face his former club.
Manuel Pellegrini's side will also be without goalkeeper Willy Caballero, who is suspended after receiving a straight red card in the last Primera Division match, a 3-0 defeat against Levante.
Madrid will still be without Raul Albiol, who is currently sidelined after fracturing his cheekbone on international duty. There are still concerns over the fitness of Ricardo Carvalho and Nuri Sahin, with both expected to miss the match at La Rosaleda.
Kaka started the last Liga match against Betis and scored a wonderful goal to complement a very good performance, and with Angel di Maria somewhat off-form midweek, the Brazilian may once again be given another opportunity.
Jose Mourinho is spoiled in his attacking options at the moment, with both Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain in excellent form. However, the Argentine may just get the nod after scoring a magnificent hat-trick in his last start.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Malaga have scored less than half the amount of goals that Real Madrid have notched up in La Liga this season, with 10 goals to 24.
- Manuel Pellegrini's side spent €58 million on new recruits during the summer transfer window.
- Malaga's top goalscorer last season in La Liga was Jose Rondon with 14 goals, 26 less than Madrid's highest marksman Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese netted 40, a division record.
- Real Madrid have scored 21 goals in their last five games.
- The last encounter between Real Madrid and Malaga came in March of this year when Jose Mourinho's men destroyed the visitors 7-0. Ronaldo fied a hat-trick.
- If Jose Mourinho's men lose this match, then Malaga will join them on 16 points in La Liga.
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Top 3 Predictions
Malaga 0-4 Real Madrid CF
- 14.09 %
Malaga 0-3 Real Madrid CF
- 13.79 %
Malaga 1-4 Real Madrid CF
- 11.35 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Oct 19, 2013||Real Madrid CF 2 - Malaga 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||May 8, 2013||Real Madrid CF 6 - Malaga 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Dec 22, 2012||Malaga 3 - Real Madrid CF 2|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 18, 2012||Real Madrid CF 1 - Malaga 1|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 10, 2012||Malaga 0 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Nov 29, 2013||Villarreal 1 - Malaga 1||LIGA|
|Nov 25, 2013||Malaga 1 - Athletic Bilbao 2||LIGA|
|Nov 8, 2013||Granada 3 - Malaga 1||LIGA|
|Nov 3, 2013||Malaga 3 - Betis 2||LIGA|
|Oct 29, 2013||Espanyol 0 - Malaga 0||LIGA|
|21||Sebastián Fernández Miglierina||Striker|
|22||Ruud Van Nistelrooy||Striker|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
Malaga's record signing and their top goalscorer so far this season. The Spanish international is without a doubt the best hope of the home side if they are to get a result against Madrid. He will need to create from the midfield and try and stretch the visitors in the final third. However, he will need space and possession to do this so expect Sami Khedira to be on him for most of the evening.
Ronaldo has not scored in three games which is a mini drought for the Portuguese maestro. With every game that passes without a goal he will only become more hungry and so he will be itching to get back on the scoresheet against Malaga. It is important that he not attempt to do everything himself to achieve this as he has been receiving praise for his unselfish play recently but it is only a matter of time before he finds the net again.
Malaga have a 100% record at La Rosaleda so far in La Liga this season but they face a momentous task in keeping Real Madrid's attacking prowess at bay. Madrid have scored 21 goals in their last five games and are showing no signs of letting up. The home side have the quality to cause Jose Mourinho's side problems, with the playmaking of Cazorla in midfield and the instinctive play of Van Nistelrooy in the box, but Madrid are playing with bags of flair at the moment, so expect them to secure a comfortable away victory.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed