Match preview: FC Barcelona v Málaga CF

Match preview: FC Barcelona v Málaga CF

Ernesto Valverde and his side will be looking to stretch their unbeaten start to nine league matches at the Camp Nou (8.45pm CET), and they're doing so against a side locked to the bottom of the table

The two sides that meet at the Camp Nou on Saturday at 8.45pm CET couldn’t be going into the game in more contrasting situations. It’s first against last as unbeaten Barça look to build on their four-point lead at the top of table, while Málaga are still looking for their first win.


Team news

Barça will not be able to count on Dembélé, Rafinha and Jordi Alba because of injury. Arda, Aleix Vidal and Vermaelen were not picked on this occasion, meaning the 18 players in the squad are as follows: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio, Denis Suárez, A. Iniesta, Suárez, Messi, Cillessen, Mascherano, Alcácer, Paulinho, Deulofeu, Digne, S. Roberto, André Gomes and Umtiti.

Though he still has a number of injuries to contend with himself, Michel has 20 players for the trip to Catalonia. They are: Luis Hernández, Rolón, Juankar, Adrián, Borja, Juanpi, Chory, Cifuentes, Cengo, Peñaranda, Rosales, Cecchini, Keko, Baysse, M. Torres, D. Nolan, Andrés Prieto, Álex Robles, Mula and Kellyann.

Coaches’ viewpoints

Despite the teams being at opposite ends of the table, Valverde remained cautious in his pre-match press conference saying that “Málaga have done well here with various coaches and that is something we have to analyse. Our intention is to win everything as always.”

Meanwhile, Málaga boss Michel doesn’t think he is on a mission impossible, commenting that "we need to play more than our best to get something out of this game. But we will believe we can win until the reality makes us change our mind. But I do think we have a chance, as does any team that comes to the Camp Nou".

Form guide

High flying Barça are enjoying one of their best ever starts to a league season. Last Saturday, Atlético Madrid were the first team to manage to take points off the blaugrana, while the midweek victory over Olympiacos maintained their 100 per cent record Champions League.

Meanwhile, bottom-placed Málaga have never before been winless after eight games. The best they have managed was a 3-3 draw with Athletic while their away form so far consists of four straight defeats and not one goal scored.


On visits to the Camp Nou, Málaga have been on the wrong end of four or more goals no fewer than seven times since the turn of the century.

But the last three seasons have brought about a curious change in fortune. The ‘anchovies’ picked up a surprise 1-0 victory in 2014/15 and last year battled their way to a 0-0 draw. The season in between produced a narrow 1-0 win for the Catalans, Thomas Vermaelen scoring the solitary goal.


Our guide should help you find somewhere to watch the game, but if you are out of luck, why not try listening instead? Close your eyes and let Nick Simons’ commentary make you feel like you are inside the stadium itself! The link will appear on the home page shortly before kick off.

Otherwise, we also have regular updates on our Twitter account, so there’s no excuse for not knowing what’s happening to your favourite team!

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