There is no questioning FC Barcelona’s firepower in the domestic championship. They have scored an immense 61 goals in the 18 games played to date, an average of 3.4 a game, and 16 more than any other team has managed, with Real Madrid’s 45 placing them second. But La Rosaleda will present the Catalans with the toughest challenge yet, for Malaga have only leaked nine goals in their stadium this season. In total, Pellegrini’s side has only been scored against 13 times all season, the basis of the success that has placed them fourth in the Liga table with 31 points. And that’s because despite their excellent record in defence, the Andalusians have only scored 18 goals themselves.
And such a poor return from the Malaga forward line doesn’t bode well for them against Barça, who have the third best defensive record in the competition. FCB have only conceded 19 goals this year (Atlético Madrid’s tally is one less, 18). Tito Vilanova’s side does not allow goals easily, and Sunday promises to offer a fascinating duel between the two club’s respective goalkeepers, Willy Caballero and Víctor Valdés.