Malaga – Real Madrid preview: Victory crucial for title race

Malaga – Real Madrid preview: Victory crucial for title race

Malaga Real Madrid match preview

Zinedine Zidane faces one of the toughest challenges since he arrived at Real Madrid as Los Blancos visit Malaga on Sunday.

Javi Gracia men are in great form and are very strong in their stadium. In fact, they were close to upsetting Barcelona a few weeks ago. The dominated the La Liga leaders but ended up losing 1-2.

The Frenchman knows of the dangers of Malaga and he will lineup all his regular starters apart from Raphael Varane, who was sent off last week against Athletic Bilbao and will be serving a one-game suspension.

Nacho Fernandez will replace the French defender forming the centre-back pair with Sergio Ramos. Marcelo is expected to feature on the left side of the defense and Daniel Carvajal on the right, although Zidane could choose to give the Spaniard some rest and lineup Danilo.

Jese Rodriguez will also come in to replace injured Karim Benzema, who is suffering from problems in his hip. The Spaniard will feature in the forward line alongside Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese will play against one of his favourite rivals. CR7 has netted six goals at Malaga’s stadium. Statistics favour Los Merengues, as they have only lost one of their last 29 league games against the Andalusians.

Javi Gracia has important losses in midfield, with Juan Carlos Perez, Christian Atsu and Chory Castro on the sidelines due to injury. Fernando Tissone is also a doubt.

Possible lineups:

Malaga: Kameni; Rosales, Albentosa, Weligton, Torres; Fornals, Camacho, Recio, Juanpi; Charles, Cop

Real Madrid: Navas; Carvajal, Ramos, Fernandez, Marcelo; James Rodriguez, Modric, Kroos, Isco; Jese Rodriguez, Ronaldo