Malaga - Real Madrid Preview: Los Boquerones look to close gap on visitors
Manuel Pellegrini's side can move within two points of the struggling Castilian giants in the Primera Division standings with victory at La Rosaleda on Saturday
Gamez, Demichelis, Onyewu, Monreal Iturra, Camacho
Joaquin, Isco, Eliseu
Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao
Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo
Malaga will be without captain Weligton against Real Madrid, after the defender picked up his fifth yellow card of the season in the 2-0 win over Sevilla.
Oguchi Onyewu is likely to deputise for Weligton at the back, while Julio Baptista and Jeremy Toulalan are also sidelined.
Real Madrid defender Fabio Coentrao picked up a muscle problem in the 2-2 draw with Espanyol and is a minor doubt.
Raphael Varane, Raul Albiol and Gonzalo Higuain remain absent, but Karim Benzema (ankle) is available.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Malaga have won just three of their last 12 matches in all competitions (W3, D5, L4).
- The Andalusians have lost their last five encounters with Real Madrid across all competitions.
- Malaga have been drawn with Porto in the Champions League round of 16.
- Real Madrid have won just two of their last five away matches in all competitions.
- Los Merengues will face English giants Manchester United in the Champions League round of 16 on February 13 and March 5.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured, right) has scored four goals in his last five outings for Real in all competitions.
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Top 3 Predictions
Malaga 1-3 Real Madrid CF
- 13.02 %
Malaga 2-1 Real Madrid CF
- 9.38 %
Malaga 1-2 Real Madrid CF
- 7.71 %
|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|
|Dec 8, 2013||Malaga 3 - Osasuna 3||ESPC|
|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|
|21||Sebastián Fernández Miglierina||Striker|
|9||Roque Santa Cruz||Striker|
|22||Ángel Di María||Midfielder|
|Roque Santa Cruz|
The Paraguay international could again get the nod over Javier Saviola to lead Malaga's attack, owing to his greater aerial ability. The 31-year-old will look to take advantage of the vulnerability Real have shown at the back in recent matches.
The Frenchman has struggled for form this season, netting just three goals in 13 appearances in La Liga. With Gonzalo Higuain still missing out through injury, Benzema will need to do more as the focal point of Real's attack and help claw back the 13-point deficit to Barcelona.
Malaga are in a decent run of form and will consider this a great opportunity to topple Real, who are in disarray on and off the pitch. Injuries, loss of form and dressing-room squabbles have all but ended the Blancos title challenge, and they could drop more points here.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed