9 pm, Canal Plus – Barça brings the curtain down on the first half of the season with a match against fourth placed Malaga
FC Barcelona has reached the halfway mark in the league season with some incredible stats. Truly historic. The team will be aiming to round off an amazing run of results with another win against Malaga on Sunday evening (9 pm, Canal Plus). It will be the first of three matches in just 12 days against the Andalus side and a chance to boost confidence ahead of the quarterfinal Cup tie which gets underway in the Camp Nou on Wednesday.
Villa injury blow
David Villa has been ruled out of Sunday’s match after picking up a leg injury in training on Saturday. The positive news is that Adriano has been declared fit for action and is among the 20 players who will make the trip south to Andalusia. Two players will be excluded from the final squad.
Malaga goes into the game on the back of a shock defeat to Deportivo last weekend in the Riazor (1-0). Before then, the side managed by Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini had put together a three-match winning run with victories against Granada (4-0), Sevilla (0-2) and Real Madrid (3-2). Malaga has a good record against the top sides this season on their own turf with wins against Levante (3-1), Betis (4-0) and Valencia (4-0) in addition to Real Madrid. In contrast they’ve dropped points at home against some of the weaker teams.
Malaga will be without right back Jesus Gámez, who will probably be replaced by Sergio Sánchez. The rest of Pellegrini’s first choice players should be available including Isco, Joaquín and former Barça star Saviola.