15:15 GMT 21 January 2017
Real Madrid host Malaga at the Santiago Bernabeu on the 21st January 2017 looking to improve their recent loss of form. The fixture is Real Madrid’s 18th of the season but comes as Malaga’s 19th due to Los Blancos’ commitment to several other competitions. Real Madrid find themselves sitting pretty at the top of the La Liga table while Malaga currently sit in 13th.
After a run of 40 matches without defeat for Zinedine Zidane’s side, they have lost their last two, the most recent coming against Celta Vigo in their first loss at the Bernabeu in almost a year. These two losses have come in the space of only a few days and may have damaged the morale of the squad.
Malaga have failed to win any of their last five La Liga games, their last two games being a 2-0 loss at home to Real Sociedad and a 3-1 loss away at Celta Vigo. These two results in their first two games of 2017 won’t fill them with much hope coming up against a star-studded Real Madrid team.
The obvious threat for Zidane’s men is Ballon D’Or winner, Cristiano Ronaldo. His record of scoring goals at Real Madrid is nothing short of incredible. His 12 goals so far this season are only beaten by Barcelona pair Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi (12 each).
Malaga’s biggest threat is Sandro Ramirez who has chipped in with seven goals for his team so far this term and should definitely be tracked by Real Madrid’s defence.
Both of the meetings between the two sides last season ended with stalemate, a 0-0 draw in the capital and 1-1 draw in Malaga. However, in the five meetings before, Real Madrid won all of them. Malaga’s last victory over the 11-time European champions came back in 2012. There’s always goals between the two sides with only one goalless game since 2000.
Head to head matches: Real Madrid - Malaga CF
|21.02.2016||LaLi||Malaga CF||Real Madrid||1:1|
|26.09.2015||LaLi||Real Madrid||Malaga CF||0:0|
Latest matches: Real Madrid
|18.01.2017||Copa||Real Madrid||Celta de Vigo||1:2||L|
|15.01.2017||LaLi||Sevilla FC||Real Madrid||2:1||L|
|12.01.2017||Copa||Sevilla FC||Real Madrid||3:3||D|
|07.01.2017||LaLi||Real Madrid||Granada CF||5:0||W|
|04.01.2017||Copa||Real Madrid||Sevilla FC||3:0||W|
Latest matches: Malaga CF
|16.01.2017||LaLi||Malaga CF||Real Sociedad||0:2||L|
|08.01.2017||LaLi||Celta de Vigo||Malaga CF||3:1||L|
|20.12.2016||Copa||Malaga CF||Cordoba CF||3:4||L|
|17.12.2016||LaLi||Sevilla FC||Malaga CF||4:1||L|
|09.12.2016||LaLi||Malaga CF||Granada CF||1:1||D|
Zinedine Zidane might decide to make a few changes because of two disappointing results in the last week but will probably keep the faith in the side that didn’t lose for 40 games in all competitions. Gareth Bale still has quite a way to go with his rehabilitation until he’ll find himself back in the team. Pepe and James Rodriguez are the other two big absences and both of them miss out with calf injuries. Lucas Silva won’t return, he’s been out for the whole season and doesn’t look like coming back for a sustained period.
Marcelo Romero might also look to make changes to his side as they are really struggling to pick up any points of late. He’s a manager who likes to shuffle his pack but, so far, that hasn’t seemed to work with any effectiveness. There are seven unavailable players for Malaga as Weligton, Charles, Zdravko Kuzmanovic, Federico Ricca and Miguel Torres all miss out through a range of injuries. Bakary Kone and Youssef En-Nesyri have been called up to Burkina Faso and Morocco respectively as they compete with their countries at the African Cup of Nations.
As they usually are heading into La Liga fixtures, Real Madrid are massive favourites especially because they will have the advantage of a home crowd. Malaga aren’t expected to put up much of a fight but they shouldn’t be totally ruled out after they managed to pick up a point at Camp Nou earlier in the season.
21 January 2017 - 15:15 GMT
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