Real Madrid - Malaga Preview: Jose Mourinho's side look to extend Liga winning run to 12 matches
After brushing aside CSKA Moscow in the Champions League round of 16, Los Blancos turn their attention to domestic matters with the visit of Manuel Pellegrini's men on Sunday
By Karthick Arvinth
Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo
Ozil, Kaka, Ronaldo
Gamez, Demichelis, Weligton, Monreal
Cazorla, Isco, Fernandez
Angel Di Maria is the only absentee for Real Madrid as they gear up for their Primera Division encounter against high-flying Malaga at the Santiago Bernabeu. The Argentine has not featured since February 18 due to a thigh problem.
Meanwhile, Portuguese full-back Fabio Coentrao has returned to training after a spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury and could make the bench.
Salomon Rondon has recovered from flu and is set to start in attack for Manuel Pellegrini's side.
Jeremy Toulalan is nursing a foot injury and is unavailable, but Jesus Gamez (ankle) has a chance of making the starting XI.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid have won their last 11 league matches, their longest winning streak in La Liga since a 10-game run between September and December 2011.
- Los Blancos have kept only five clean sheets in their 21 matches at the Bernabeu in all competitions this campaign.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has struck 13 Liga hat-tricks for Madrid - six this season.
- Malaga recorded their third straight league victory with a 1-0 success over Levante on Saturday.
- The Andalusian outfit have won just two of their last 11 away fixtures in the league.
- Ruud van Nistelrooy (pictured right) scored 46 Liga goals in 68 appearances for Madrid between 2006 and 2010.
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Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid CF 5-0 Malaga
- 15.7 %
Real Madrid CF 4-1 Malaga
- 14.45 %
Real Madrid CF 4-0 Malaga
- 12.31 %
|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|
|Real Madrid CF|
|Dec 10, 2013||FC Copenhagen 0 - Real Madrid CF 2||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||CD Olímpic de Xàtiva 0 - Real Madrid CF 0||ESPC|
|Nov 30, 2013||Real Madrid CF 4 - Valladolid 0||LIGA|
|Nov 27, 2013||Real Madrid CF 4 - Galatasaray 1||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Almeria 0 - Real Madrid CF 5||LIGA|
|22||Ruud Van Nistelrooy||Striker|
|21||Sebastián Fernández Miglierina||Striker|
The 29-year-old rolled back the years with a starring role in Madrid's midweek victory over CSKA, earning praise from boss Mourinho. While the Brazilian may have lost a few yards of pace, he is making up for it with his football brain and experience and is finally starting to look like the player Florentino Perez paid €65 million for in 2009.
The Venezuela international has netted five times in his last eight games and has been one of the star performers in Malaga's expensively-assembled squad. With his physical presence and movement, he will be a handful for the Madrid defence.
Madrid are in the groove now and Mourinho will be making sure that his players do not take their eye off the ball as the Liga title race approaches the home stretch. Pellegrini will be desperate to dent the title charge of his former club, but his team have been desperately poor away from home all season.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed