FC Barcelona vs Malaga : Predicted lineups
In the wake of a pair of successive knocks with Athletic Club Bilbao in La Liga and also in the Copa del Rey — and with a third on tap next Wednesday night — FC Barcelona get a one-match interval from battling the Basques when they make their tour south to Spain’s Costa del Sol on the Saturday afternoon to face Málaga FC in Week 21 of league game.
Before Friday’s training session for the FC Barcelona vs Malaga clash, FC Barcelona chief coach Luis Enrique was queried on a variety of matters relating to Saturday’s encounter with Málaga.
“They’ve caused us a lot of problems recently but we need to be focused to keep depending on ourselves at the top of the league table,” he said.
Málaga CF coach Javi Gracia also opened up to the media on Friday regarding the FC Barcelona vs Malaga match. He placed particular emphasis on the challenge of facing such a formidable side, while recognising that the actual test is in finding a suitable way to catch Barça off-guard. “Our job as the coaching team is to find those nuances that make the game different, and this difference will surprise them, which is what we’re working on,” he said.
FC Barcelona are undefeated in their last four games set on the road in La Liga, prior to the FC Barcelona vs Malaga clash. They are also enjoying a 23-game unbeaten streak in all sorts of competitions. Barça’s last defeat was a 2–1 result at Sevilla way back on 3 October last. The Catalans are currently standing in second place with a game in their hand due to a scheduling conflict originating from their participation in the last month’s FIFA Club World Cup placed in Japan.
Although Málaga have brilliantly won three straight league games played at their home stadium, La Rosaleda, they were beaten last week at Sevilla. Interestingly enough though, like Barça back in October, Los Boquerones also had to face defeat in Seville by a score of 2–1. Málaga are now in 10th place, nine points out of their slot in next season’s Europa League but only seven points above the relegation zone.