Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Spain

Barcelona training © Reuters Images

Malaga to test Barca record start



Barcelona will face one of their toughest tests so far this season on Sunday when they visit fourth-placed Malaga.

Barca have broken all the Spanish records this season, dropping just two points in their first 18 games and claiming the "Winter Champions" title at a canter.

But Malaga have a lot of spark in attack and are full of goals at the moment. On Tuesday they thrashed Eibar 4-1 in the cup, just before Christmas they beat Real Madrid 3-2.

Talented reserve Diego Buonanotte might get the nod after a dazzling two-goal display against Eibar.

"Last night was wonderful," said the young Argentine. "Now we have to think about the Barcelona game ... I hope I'm given my chance against them."

Another striker hoping for his chance is Barca's David Villa, who has spent much time on the subs' bench than on the field this season. Villa will be keen to impress in Thursday's cup game at home to second division Cordoba.

Barca coach Tito Vilanova should be back in time for the Malaga match, after flying over to the United States on Wednesday to consult with several specialists about his Parotid gland cancer.

Barca are a 11 points above second-placed Atletico Madrid, who on Sunday will receive Zaragoza. Atletico will be keen to get back to winning ways after a disappointing 1-1 draw at Mallorca.

Sunday will also see fifth-placed Betis against No 6 Levante, as well as Real Sociedad against lowly Deportivo La Coruna.

The big game on Saturday will be Real Madrid at bottom team Osasuna. The whites often have problems in wintry Pamplona, and will be without the in-form Cristiano Ronaldo, suspended for one match.

Ronaldo confirmed his importance to Real with an impressive hat-trick on Wednesday - his 10th for the club - in a 4-0 cup destruction of Celta Vigo.

Real will also be without injured defenders Fabio Coentrao and Pepe, though Raul Albiol and Marcelo might be fit to return.

Coach Jose Mourinho will have no choice but to pick Spain keeper Iker Casillas this time around, given that understudy Antonio Adan is suspended.

Adan was sent off at the start of Real's 4-3 defeat of Real Sociedad last Sunday, after Mourinho had raised eyebrows by giving him the nod over Casillas.

Saturday's other games will be Valladolid v Mallorca, Espanyol v Celta Vigo, and Valencia v. Sevilla.

On Friday the action will start with Athletic Bilbao at home to Rayo Vallecano. Getafe take on Granada on Monday.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...