Malaga - Anderlecht Preview: Los Boquerones look to preserve unbeaten record
Manuel Pellegrino's side will be out to finish their impressive group stage debut on a high while their visitors can still secure a place in the Europa League
By Harry Slavin
Gamez, Sanchez, Weligton, Eliseu
Portillo, Isco, Joaquin
Gillet, Kouyate, Juhasz, Safari
Bruno, Praet, Jovanovic
Malaga will be without influential defender Martin Demichelis in their final group stage match against Anderlecht on Tuesday after the Argentine centre-back picked up his third booking in the competition against Zenit St Petersburg last time out.
Sergio Sanchez looks set to take his place in defence and make his third appearance in this year's competition as Manuel Pellegrini's men look to end the their Group C campaign undefeated.
Manuel Iturra is back in contention for a European place after serving his suspension while goalkeeper Willy Caballero trained on Sunday despite picking up a knock in the Andalusian side's 1-0 defeat to Getafe at the weekend.
Anderlecht can still qualify for the Europa League and will finish third if they can better Zenit's result against AC Milan, but the Belgian side will have to do this without Bram Nuytinck after his dismissal against Milan in their last Champions League encounter.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Malaga have lost back to back matches for the first time this season after their defeat at the hands of Getafe at the weekend.
- Los Boquerones have one of the meanest defences in the Champions League having conceded just three goals, only Group A's Paris Saint-Germain and Porto have conceded fewer.
- If the home side avoid defeat, this will be the second time Manuel Pellegrini has guided a side unbeaten through their group stage debut, having managed the feat with Villarreal in 2005/2006.
- Javier Saviola (pictured, right) scored in his only competitive outing against Belgian opposition before this season, netting for Barcelona against Club Brugge in the 2002/03 season.
- The last time Anderlecht set foot on Spanish soil, they secured a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao in 2009/10.
- The Belgian side's next Champions League goal will be their 50th in the competition's history.
- John van den Brom's side have already opened up a six-point lead at the top of the Belgian Jupiler League.
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Top 3 Predictions
Malaga 2-0 Anderlecht
- 18.11 %
Malaga 2-1 Anderlecht
- 15.23 %
Malaga 3-1 Anderlecht
- 12.76 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Dec 4, 2012||Malaga 2 - Anderlecht 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Oct 3, 2012||Anderlecht 0 - Malaga 3|
|Mar 1, 2014||Malaga 1 - Valladolid 1||LIGA|
|Feb 22, 2014||Almeria 0 - Malaga 0||LIGA|
|Feb 17, 2014||Malaga 0 - Real Sociedad 1||LIGA|
|Feb 8, 2014||Rayo Vallecano 4 - Malaga 1||LIGA|
|Feb 1, 2014||Malaga 3 - Sevilla 2||LIGA|
|21||Sebastián Fernández Miglierina||Striker|
|9||Roque Santa Cruz||Striker|
|21||Tom de Sutter||Striker|
The 20-year-old attacking midfielder has won a host of admirers with his displays in this season's competition, leading to rumours of a January switch to Manchester City. Anderlecht will be hoping he is rested for this one, but if not then his creativity could be key.
The Belgian outfit have scored just a single goal away from home in the competition and they will need to display far greater firepower if they are to overcome Malaga. The 27-year-old striker has one goal to his name in Europe this season and must be at his best if his side are to force a result.
Malaga have been the surprise package of this season's tournament and it is difficult to see the Belgium champions taking anything from this encounter.