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Malaga v Barcelona - Preview and possible lineups

Patrick Power by Patrick Power @rfutbol - 0 6,112

Pin Top against bottom. EFE
Top against bottom. EFE

Malaga v Barcelona - Preview and possible lineups

Patrick Power by Patrick Power @rfutbol - 0 6,112

La Liga pacesetters Barcelona will have to beware of complacency as they take on a rock-bottom Malaga side in desperate need of points.

With one eye on Wednesday's Champions League clash with Chelsea, Barcelona travel to La Rosaleda on Saturday to continue their steady march towards the title.

Ernesto Valverde's men hold a healthy eight-point lead at the top of the table after beating Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid 1-0 at the Nou Camp last Sunday night, with Lionel Messi scoring the Barca's winner with a brilliant free-kick.

"The teams in the bottom part of the table are the ones who pick most points in the final part of the season," Valverde warned against complacency. "Malaga are at a point where they really need points and this game is another chance for them. Every game is important and not winning would mean a lot more pressure going into the next game."

Malaga boss Jose Manuel Gonzalez Lopez has a few injury concerns to deal with. Juan Carlos Perez Lopez (cruciate ligament rupture), Recio (knee) and Adalberto Penaranda Maestre (hamstring) will definitely miss out. Federico Ricca (rib) and Keko (leg) are off the treatment table, but are doubtful for the game owing to their uncertain fitness situation.

Denis Suarez sustained a groin injury in the game and will be sidelined for up to three weeks. Nelson Semedo is on the treatment table as well as he continues recovering from a hamstring injury. Andres Iniesta is struggling with a hamstring strain as well, and will be rested for the Champions League tie against Chelsea.

Recent form:

Possible lineups:

Malaga: Roberto; Rosales, Hernandez, Miquel, Diego Gonzalez; Juanpi, Iturra, Lacen, Castro; Rolan, Borja Baston

Barcelona: ter Stegen; Roberto, Vermaelen, Umtiti, Alba; Paulinho, Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho; Messi, Suarez

Patrick Power

Patrick Power

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