BARCELONA TEAM NEWS: INJURIES, SUSPENSIONS AND LINE-UP VS MALAGA
Everything you need to know ahead of the Catalans’ La Liga clash at La Rosaleda on Saturday…
Barcelona travel to Malaga in the Primera Division on Saturday night after leaders Real Madrid face Atletico in the capital’s derby clash earlier in the day.
Madrid are currently two points clear of Barca at the top of the table and Los Blancos also have a game in had, but Los Blancos have lost their last three home games against Atletico in La Liga.
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Barca, meanwhile, are on form after beating Sevilla 3-0 at Camp Nou on Saturday and the game against Malaga is their third in a row versus opposition from Andalusia – after the meetings with Granada and then Jorge Sampaoli’s side over the past week.
Aleix Vidal is sidelined for the remainder of the season after suffering a horrific ankle injury at Alaves in February, while Rafinha is also out after limping off in the game at Granada last weekend. Arda Turan is also still unavailable.
Gerard Pique and Ivan Rakitic are both suspended for the trip to Malaga, but Luis Enrique will likely rotate his pack anyway with a Champions League clash away to Juventus ahead on Tuesday night.
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Barcelona boss Luis Enrique is set to revert back to 4-3-3 in the absence of Gerard Pique and Ivan Rakitic through suspension on Saturday.
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That means a chance for Jodi Alba at left-back, with Sergi Roberto on the right and Javier Mascherano or Jeremy Mathieu in defence alongside Samuel Umtiti.
Andres Iniesta is likely to be rested, but Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar are all set to start.
MALAGA TEAM NEWS
Malaga’s 1-0 victory at Sporting Gijon in midweek saw the Andalusian side move eight points clear of the drop zone and ended a run of six games without a win for Michel’s men.
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The Costa del Sol side had picked just one point in that time, but their win at Sporting has given them breathing space ahead of the match at home to Barcelona on Saturday.
Winger Keko, midfielder Zdravko Kuzmanovic and defender Bakary Kone are all out.