Cazorla. PHOTO: www.malagacf.com

Barça’s opponent this Sunday, Málaga, was one of the most active teams in the transfer market this summer. Since 2010, coinciding with the influx of investors from Doha, the Andalusian team has succeeded in securing big-name transfers. Men like Baptista, Demichelis or Maresca, and the manager Manuel Pellegrini, arrived at the Club last season.

Irregular trajectory

This season, the blue and whites have added quality to their team with the arrival of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Toulalan, Joaquín and Mathijsen. However, the team’s results in La Liga haven’t lived up to expectations. With the half-way point of the Liga right around the corner, Málaga sits in eighth position with seven victories and defeats. If anything, Málaga’s season has been marked by irregularity.

Creative offence

Málaga’s attacking power is undeniable, however, their true potential in front of goal has yet to be realised because of a slightly out of sync Van Nistelrooy and Rondon. It’s worth mentioning that injuries have not been kind to the Andalusian team, Baptista, who is currently recuperating from injury, will be out of action for a prolonged period of time. Their midfield is also formidable: Toulalan brings equalibrium and Cazorla, Isco, and Joaquín (injured), contribute creativity and talent.

Defensive problems

Pellegrini’s biggest unsolved puzzle as of yet is the defence. Surprisingly, Málaga have conceded more goals (24) than they have scored (21). Demichelis‘ partner in the middle and the players out wide have yet to really claim their spot in the starting XI. Mathijsen, Gámez, and Monreal often feature in the starting line-up.

The team’s latest acquisition, ex-Espanyol keeper Carlos Kameni, should inject confidence in Málaga’s back line and he could make his debut on Sunday. His competition for the starting position is Willy Caballero.

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