As if the local rivalry was not enough, the two sides are separated by one point, Sevilla one place above Malaga in La Liga table, with only one further point keeping them out of the European places.
With the race for Europe only likely to become more intense as the season moves into its final stages, Marcelino sees the match as a chance to strike a psychological blow.
"This is one of the more complicated matches because they are a rival of great quality," he said.
"I know the emotional charge will be high, but with conviction and assurance we can achieve victory.
"What we need to do is to channel all our effort and enthusiasm into getting a win at Malaga. That would be the most important thing because it is not about scoring moral victories, but effective ones and we need to win.
"This is about more than just three points. A victory would be very important as they are a direct rival for us and our targets."
Sevilla will have defender Cala in their squad, recalled from his loan with AEK Athens as Martin Caceres is heading to Juventus and Emir Spahic has been struggling with injury.
The importance of the match is not lost on Malaga either, with defender Jesus Gamez eager to put a run of three straight defeats behind him.
"This is a very important match against a direct rival, and we have a chance to move above them in the table, climb the rankings, and be closer to our goal," he said.
"We are strong and hope to put an end to this run. Everyone can have ups and downs and it's time for us to start going back up."