Having secured their spot in the Champions League semi-finals in midweek, Real Madrid will be looking to carry the high over into their visit to Malaga on Sunday.
15 April 2018
Venue: Estadio La Rosaleda
Referee: R. de Burgos
Assistant referees: J. Aguilar, J. Nunez
Fourth official: R. Arias
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Malaga 35 1 8 26
Real Madrid 35 26 8 1
Real Madrid 3-2 Malaga (25/11/17) LaLiga
Real Madrid goalscorers: Karim Benzema (9′), Casemiro (21′), Cristiano Ronaldo (76′)
Malaga goalscorers: Diego Rolan (18′), Chory Castro (58′)
Players to watch:
Cristiano Ronaldo is in red-hot form for Los Blancos. After scoring a brace featuring a stunning bicycle kick in the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Juventus, the Portuguese scored from the penalty spot in the second to send Real Madrid to the semis.
Roberto Rosales has been the key man for struggling Malaga this season, and whether or not Ronaldo and co. tear the Andalusian side to shreds may depend largely on him.
Team form and manager quotes:
Real Madrid have improved of late, but their form has still not been altogether convincing. They only just scraped through against Juventus 4-3 on aggregate despite winning the first leg 3-0. In between the games against the Turin giants, Los Blancos drew 1-1 to Atletico Madrid.
Speaking on Sunday’s clash after the Champions League triumph, Zinedine Zidane said: “It’ll be more difficult after the Champions League match because we made an enormous effort, but we’ve managed ourselves really well in the last three days and now we’re prepared to do well in another La Liga game.”
Malaga’s dismal form this season has seen them slip 14 points behind 17th-placed Levante. However, Zidane claimed: “Malaga are bottom of the league and maybe they don’t deserve to be there. I’ve seen Malaga and their position is surprising. It’s going to be difficult, but we’ll go there to win and they’re going to give it all.”
Diego Gonzalez could miss out for Malaga after picking up a thigh injury in training on Friday, but Ignasi Miquel could return to the squad, providing them a boost.
Real Madrid are also sweating on the fitness of a player injured in training, as Isco is recovering from a kick to the shin. Nacho will miss the game due to a muscle problem.