Bottom-placed Malaga hosts the League leaders Barcelona at the La Rosaleda stadium.
Malaga is in a poor run of form and has not managed to secure a victory in their last 16 games overall competition. Their form in their last six games is even worse where they have lost all six games. Their last match was a 2 – 0 defeat against Leganes in the away fixture.
On the other hand, Barcelona are in an excellent run of form and yet to be beaten in the league. Having recently won the Catalan Super Cup and a spectacular win against Atletico Madrid, they are heading into this game high in confidence away from home.
With the crucial Champions League clash against Chelsea, Ernesto Valverde will be looking to play this match with full caution. An injury is the last thing he would want to avoid ahead of this game.
The Anchovies have only 3 wins and 13 points at this point in the season and this is an uphill battle for the side and it’s likely possible that they won’t find a win at home against the league leaders.
Last year Malaga took a shocking 2 – 0 victory at home against Barca. The Blaugrana have not scored more than twice in their last seven meetings against the Anchovies.
Though Barcelona lost on this ground in the previous year, they have won 4 out of the last 6 trips to the Anchovies.
The manager, José Manuel, has a number of injuries to deal with. He is without few of his key players as they hope for a home win.
Recio and Adrian Gonzalez, the Central Midfielder for the team are out due to knee problems. They will be sidelined in the match against Barca.
Keko, who plays as a Right Wing, will also be sidelined due to the muscular problems he faces.
Luis Suarez is fighting to be fit to play against Chelsea in the Champions League tie. He will be at rest so as to be able to play in the fixture of next week.
Andres Iniesta also suffered a hamstring injury and most likely won’t be playing against the bottom team of La Liga.
Midfield Denis Suarez has recently faced an injury due to a tear in the abductor’s muscle and is out of the playing squad.
Players to Watch
Though the Albicelestes have not been able to score goals against their opponents, the Moroccan striker has 2 goals to his name. His last goal came against Athletic Bilbao where they lost the match and he was red carded in the final minutes.
But still Youssef has proven worthy to his teammates and he will be finding himself in front of goal.
Lionel Messi currently has an excellent run of form this term. The Argentine magician is the star player of Barcelona. He now leads the league in terms of goals. The forward has 28 goals and 13 assists to his name this season.
The talented Argentine will be at his best in the match against Malaga as he hopes to win the match by himself. He can’t get enough with his goal-scoring ability and with his skills he is currently one of the best players in the world.
The whole team would be relying on the talent of this player as they are the favorites to win this game.
Malaga vs Barcelona Lineup (Likely XI)
Malaga Lineup (4-4-2)
DEF: F. Ricca (LB), I. Miquel (LCB), L. Hernandez (RCB), R. Rosales (RB)
MID: G. Gastro (LM), M. Lacen (LCM), M. Iturra (RCM), D. Rolan (RM)
ATT: A. Bueno (LF), Y. En-Nesyri (RF)
Barcelona Lineup (4-4-2)
GK: Ter Stegen
DEF: Roberto (LB), Pique (CB), Umtiti (CB), Alba (RB)
MID: Coutinho (LM), Rakitic (CM), Busquets (CM), Iniesta (RM)
ATT: Dembele (LF), Messi (RF)
Malaga vs Barcelona Prediction
The Anchovies could be no match to the league leaders as they have faced six straight defeats heading into this game. They are at the end of the league table heading towards the Segunda Division.
On the other hand, Unbeaten Barca are the clear favorites to win the game. Winning against Atletico Madrid has given them an immense boost in the confidence as they hope to win yet another game to maintain the point balance with second-placed Atletico.
This will be a deserved win for Barca and we predict the scores will be:
Malaga – 0
Barcelona – 4