After our epic victory against Real Sociedad, we are now set to take on high flying Malaga.
This is a direct threat to our league position. Malaga are only a point behind us. Games at La Rosaleda are always tough, and as Bruno described, it will be ``intense''. Marcelino hasn't won at Malaga.
The boquerones struggled last weekend, losing to Almeria 2-1 at home, although they regained some confidence with a 2-0 win over Levante in the Copa del Rey in midweek.
It will be back to business after the Copa, with Uche and Vietto returning to the line-up. Gio again seemed out of sorts and I don't expect him to start. We had thought maybe Musacchio would return to the squad, but not yet.
Shock still lingers over the Cani exit and it seems very unlikely he would return to us after his loan deal but stranger things have happened. Our defence is weakened as Costa is suspended. Adrián Marín (his 18th birthday is today) is in the squad, so I imagine he will be the natural replacement for Costa. Rukavina played in the Copa so I suspect he will be bench warmer.
Our team is:
Keepers: Asenjo and Juan Carlos.
Defenders: Mario, Rukavina, Marín, Víctor Ruiz, Dorado, Gabriel.
Midfielders: Pina, Bruno, Jonathan dos Santos, Trigueros, Moi Gómez, Cheryshev.
Strikers: Uche, Vietto, Gerard Moreno, Giovani.
Malaga, despite their form, are injury- plagued, with five players out. Belarusian striker Igor Filipenko is rumoured to make his first start after the sale of Roque Santa Cruz.
My prediction is a tight 1 -0 with a Uche header.
Allen adds: This is going to be tight, yes. Expecting 1-1 maybe?