The run of three league games in just six days comes to an end on Saturday at 8.45pm CET, and after Barça got two thirds of the job done perfectly with solid victories over Granada and Sevilla, now it’s time for Andalusian opponent number three – Málaga away.
Luis Enrique has named his squad for the game, with Mathieu back after sitting out the midweek fixture, and Àlex Carbonell of the reserves also getting the nod – with both Piqué and Rakitic suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
With Rafinha, Arda and Aleix Vidal all out through injury, the only unforced absence is goalkeeper Masip in a complete squad that reads as follows: Ter Stegen, Cillessen, Sergio, Denis Suárez, Iniesta, Luis Suárez, Messi, Neymar Jr, Mascherano, Paco Alcácer, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, André Gomes, Umtiti, Mathieu, Aleñá (28) and Carbonell (30).
There has only been time for two training sessions between Wednesday’s game at the Camp Nou and Saturday’s at La Rosaleda.
Once again under glorious sunshine, the first team gathered at Ciutat Esportiva on Friday morning in the company for the second day running of Aleñá, Kaptoum and Carbonell of Barça B.
Málaga go into the game fresh from a 1-0 win at Sporting that has put a nice margin of eight points between themselves and the relegation zone, while this will be Barça's last domestic fixture before resuming their Champions League challenge with a trip to Turin to face Juventus.