Barcelona v Malaga
Sunday 22 March 2009
Camp Nou, Barcelona
Kick Off 19.00 CET
Barcelona welcome Malaga, the surprise team of the season to Camp Nou this evening and will be hoping to continue with their recent good form. Malaga who were promoted from Segunda A have surprised everyone this season and are currently in sixth position in La Liga and could, incredibly, go third if they were to pull of the shock result of the season.
After a run of five games without a win earlier this season we are now seeing the Barcelona of old, and in their last three games have scored nine goals while conceding only two. Victor Valdes amongst others has admitted that the team had started to relax but have learnt from their mistakes and are now back playing with more intensity, defending in the oppositions half and passing the ball very quickly which has resulted in goals for Eto’o, Henry and Lionel Messi.
Back in November at La Rosaleda Barca emerged as 4-1 winners on a rain soaked night, with two goals from Xavi and one apiece from Messi and Alves. Tonight both teams will probably play attacking football, trying to keep possession and despite their recent strength in defence, Barca go into the game without the services of Puyol, Abidal and Milito, with Piqué also doubtful because of fever. Malaga come to the game with some notable absences too, including Welligton, Calleja, Miguel Ángel, Adrián and Baha.
Victory tonight will keep Barca at least six points clear of Real Madrid and give them some peace of mind going into the short break for international fixtures. Once the break is over, Barca face seven games in 21 days.
Barcelona have met Malaga 27 times at Camp Nou and have been victorious in 24 of those meetings.
Probable Starting XI’s
Barcelona: Valdes, Alves, Sylvinho, Marquez, Pique, Toure, Xavi, Iniesta, Henry, Messi, Eto’o
Malaga: Goitia, Gamez, Rosario, Helder, Apono, Duda, Eliseu, A. Luque, Nacho, Salva
15/03 A 2-0 Almeria
11/03 H 5-2 Olympique Lyonnais
07/03 H 2-0 Athletic Club
04/03 A 1-1 Real Mallorca
01/03 A 3-4 Atletico de Madrid
24/02 A 1-1 Olympique Lyonnais
15/03 H 2-2 Sevilla
08/03 A 2-1 Getafe
01/03 H 0-2 Recreativo
22/02 A 3-1 Real Valladolid
14/02 A 1-1 Valencia
08/02 H 3-2 Almeria
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