Real Madrid – Malaga match preview: Mourinho and Pellegrini meet again

Real Madrid – Malaga match preview: Mourinho and Pellegrini meet again

Real Madrid - Malaga - La Liga 36

Malaga visit the Santiago Bernabeu with the desperate need to get a victory, as they sit in sixth place with five points fewer than Real Sociedad, the team that holds the fourth place which guarantees an appearance in the Champions League.

However, in Madrid the centre of attention will not be on the game, nor even on the always controversial reencounter of Jose Mourinho with his predecessor, Manuel Pellegrini.

The week has been chaotic for Los Merengues with Pepe and Mourinho publicly exchanging their opinions. The Portuguese coach is reported to have not spoken to his players for the last four days.

Real need a victory to help them secure second place in the championship. They will not have three of their defenders, since Sergio Ramos, Marcelo and Arbeloa are injured. Raul Albiol could come into the starting eleven after missing the last game due to suspension.

Los Blancos are in good shape in La Liga, as they have won 11 of their last 12 games. Plus, Cristiano Ronaldo will have an extra motivation. If he scores, he will reach 200 goals for the club.

If Real win, they will get their 1,000th victory at home in La Liga. On the other hand, if they don’t manage to secure the three points, Barcelona will be confirmed as champions.

Malaga still hopes to get 4th place

Malaga are sixth in La Liga, five points behind the fourth places that secures a spot in the next Champions League. Pellegrini’s side needs a victory that would keep their hopes on appearing in that competition for the second time in their history.

Malaga will miss suspended Weligton and injured Jesus Gamez and Jeremy Toulalan. Pellegrini will probably stick to his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation, in which Roque Santa Cruz or Javier Saviola could return to the forward position that Julio Baptista has held in the last games. Eliseu returns after his injury and could start at left back.

Possible lineups:
Real Madrid: Lopez; Coentrao, Albiol, Varane, Nacho; Alonso, Modric; Ronaldo, Ozil, Di Maria; Benzema.
Malaga: Caballero; Eliseu, Lugano, Demichelis, Sanchez; Iturra, Camacho; Morales, Isco, Joaquin; Baptista.