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Primera División

  • January 13, 2013
  • • 20:00
  • • Estadio La Rosaleda, Málaga
  • Referee: Carlos Delgado Ferreiro
  • • Attendance: 29323
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Malaga - Barcelona Preview: Catalan side look to continue their perfect away record as they travel to face Manuel Pellegrini's outfit

Malaga - Barcelona Preview: Catalan side look to continue their perfect away record as they travel to face Manuel Pellegrini's outfit

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Tito Vilanova's men have a 100 per cent record on the road this season, but face a tough task as they face the Primera Division's meanest defence

  PROBABLE LINEUPS


MALAGA

 Caballero
Gamez, Demichelis, Weligton, Nacho
Toulalan, Camacho
Joaquin, Isco, Eliseu
Saviola
BARCELONA

Valdes
Alves, Pique, Puyol, Alba
Xavi, Busquets, Fabregas
Pedro, Messi, Iniesta

Barcelona face Malaga on Sunday in what is to be a double header between the sides this week. The match this weekend sees Tito Vilanova’s men travel to La Rosaleda in a Spanish Primera League encounter, with the next clash coming just three days later in a Copa del Rey tie at Camp Nou.

Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini has the option to select Diego Buonanotte for the match on Sunday. The Argentine suffered an injury to his right foot in the cup match against Eibar on Tuesday, but featured in training on Friday and could make an appearance.

Julio Baptista is making steady progress to returning to first-team action for los Boquerones. The Brazilian continued his rehabilitation in the gym this week and managed some work on the training pitch. However, he will not feature against Barcelona or any match in the immediate future.

Barcelona have suffered a blow this week with the news that Sergi Roberto will be missing for four weeks after picking up a hamstring tear in the midweek cup victory over Cordoba.

The Catalan side have also been sweating over the fitness of David Villa after the Copa del Rey encounter. The Spain international was withdrawn after complaining of discomfort in his legs. However, it is likely he will shake off any injury to be in contention to face Malaga.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Malaga have the meanest defence in La Liga. Manuel Pellegrini's side have only conceded 13 goals in the league so far, which is less than any other team.
  • Los Boquerones currently sit fourth place in the league on 31 points, a staggering 21 points behind the leaders, Barcelona.
  • The last time Malaga faced Barcelona the match ended in a 4-1 rout to the Catalan side. Lionel Messi was once again the star of the show as he bagged a hat-trick at Camp Nou.
  • Barcelona have scored a sensational 61 goals in the Spanish Primera Division so far this campaign.
  • Messi (pictured, right) picked up an historic fourth Ballon d'Or this week. The Argentine fought back competition from Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta to take the crown.
  • The Blaugrana had five players named in the Fifpro World XI this week. Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Gerard Pique, and Dani Alves all made the cut.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
13Willy CaballeroGoalkeeper
3WeligtonDefender
26Martín DemichelisDefender
17MonrealDefender
18EliseuMidfielder
21Sergio SánchezDefender
6CamachoMidfielder
17JoaquínMidfielder
8Jérémy ToulalanMidfielder
23IscoMidfielder
9Roque Santa CruzStriker
1Carlos KameniGoalkeeper
5Oguchi OnyewuDefender
-Manuel IturraMidfielder
-Diego BuonanotteMidfielder
30Javier SaviolaStriker
21S. FernándezStriker
27PortilloMidfielder
12Víctor ValdésGoalkeeper
22Daniel AlvesDefender
3PiquéDefender
18Jordi AlbaDefender
4Cesc FàbregasMidfielder
6XaviMidfielder
8Andrés Iniesta LujánMidfielder
14Javier MascheranoMidfielder
5BusquetsMidfielder
10MessiStriker
7PedroStriker
13José Pinto ColoradoGoalkeeper
5Carles PuyolDefender
21AdrianoDefender
6Thiago AlcántaraMidfielder
25Alex SongMidfielder
9Alexis SánchezStriker
37TelloStriker
Players to Watch
Isco
Isco
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 23
Games Goals YC RC
3 0 1 0
Malaga will do well to hold on to the former Valencia man beyond the summer or perhaps even January. Isco has been their outstanding player so far this season and is reportedly on the radar of some of Europe's biggest clubs. If Malaga are to pull off an unlikely win, he will be integral to the success.
Messi
Messi
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
3 2 0 0
The Argentine made history again this week when he earned his historic fourth Ballon d'Or, and he is showing no signs of letting up. Last year Messi broke the record for the amount of goals scored in a calendar year, and you would not put it past him to be hungry to break his own achievements. Be wary, Malaga.
Prediction
Malaga boast the best defensive record in the Spanish Primera Division this year, having conceded just 13 goals. However, they face their biggest test yet as Barcelona visit La Rosaleda. The Catalan outfit have been free-scoring so far this season and have notched up a truly impressive average of 3.4 goals scored per match. Malaga have the quality to get on the scoresheet, but expect Barca to come out victorious.
Editor's Prediction
Malaga 1

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