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Primera División

  • December 22, 2012
  • • 19:00
  • • Estadio La Rosaleda, Málaga
  • Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández
  • • Attendance: 28004
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Malaga - Real Madrid Preview: Los Boquerones look to close gap on visitors

Malaga - Real Madrid Preview: Los Boquerones look to close gap on visitors

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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

  PROBABLE LINEUPS


MALAGA

Caballero
 Gamez, Demichelis, Onyewu, Monreal Iturra, Camacho
Joaquin, Isco, Eliseu
 Santa Cruz


REAL MADRID


Casillas
 Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Coentrao
 Khedira, Alonso
 Di Maria, Ozil, Ronaldo
 Benzema


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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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
13Willy CaballeroGoalkeeper
2Jesús GámezDefender
26Martín DemichelisDefender
17MonrealDefender
18EliseuMidfielder
21Sergio SánchezDefender
6CamachoMidfielder
17JoaquínMidfielder
23IscoMidfielder
30Javier SaviolaStriker
27PortilloMidfielder
1Carlos KameniGoalkeeper
5Oguchi OnyewuDefender
-Manuel IturraMidfielder
17DudaMidfielder
-Diego BuonanotteMidfielder
21Sebastián Fernández MiglierinaStriker
9Roque Santa CruzStriker
1AdànGoalkeeper
3PepeDefender
4Sergio RamosDefender
17ArbeloaDefender
6Sami KhediraMidfielder
14Xabi AlonsoMidfielder
-Michael EssienMidfielder
22Ángel Di MaríaMidfielder
11Mesut ÖzilMidfielder
7C. RonaldoStriker
9Karim BenzemaStriker
1Iker CasillasGoalkeeper
2Ricardo CarvalhoDefender
18Nacho FernándezDefender
19Luka ModricMidfielder
8KakáMidfielder
7José Callejón Striker
29MorataStriker
Players to Watch
Roque Santa Cruz
Roque Santa Cruz
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
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.
Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
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.
Prediction
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.
Editor's Prediction
Malaga 1

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