Malaga - Barcelona Preview: Catalan side look to continue their perfect away record as they travel to face Manuel Pellegrini's outfit
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
By Martin Macdonald
Gamez, Demichelis, Weligton, Nacho
Joaquin, Isco, Eliseu
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 The Spain international was withdrawn after complaining of discomfort in his legs.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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Top 3 Predictions
Malaga 1-3 FC Barcelona
- 18.97 %
Malaga 1-4 FC Barcelona
- 11.84 %
Malaga 0-3 FC Barcelona
- 10.26 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 27, 2014||FC Barcelona 3 - Malaga 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Aug 26, 2013||Malaga 0 - FC Barcelona 1|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jun 2, 2013||FC Barcelona 4 - Malaga 1|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 25, 2013||Malaga 2 - FC Barcelona 4|
|Spain - Copa del Rey (ESPC)||Jan 17, 2013||FC Barcelona 2 - Malaga 2|
|Mar 1, 2014||Malaga 1 - Valladolid 1||LIGA|
|Feb 23, 2014||UD Almería 0 - Malaga 0||LIGA|
|Feb 18, 2014||Malaga 0 - Real Sociedad 1||LIGA|
|Feb 9, 2014||Rayo Vallecano 4 - Malaga 1||LIGA|
|Feb 2, 2014||Malaga 3 - Sevilla 2||LIGA|
|9||Roque Santa Cruz||Striker|
|21||Sebastián Fernández Miglierina||Striker|
|8||Andrés Iniesta Luján||Midfielder|
|13||José Pinto Colorado||Goalkeeper|