Estadio La Rosaleda, Malaga, Spain
17th October 2010, Sunday, 1.30 AM IST

After a 15-day break at the hands of International games, club football is back. Real Madrid travel to the Andalusia region in Spain to face Malaga as they look to leapfrog Valencia to top of the table. Valencia has a tough job at hand –  the club has to face Barcelona at the Camp Nou.

May 16, 2010 - Malaga, Spain - MALAGA, (SPAIN) 16/05/2010.- Malaga supporters jubilates that next year will play in First Division after draw with Real Madrid during thier First Division soccer League match played at La Rosaleda stadium in Malaga, Spain on 16 May 2010.There’s no dearth of support for Malaga at home.

After an inconsistent start to the season for Malaga, they now face the capital giants in what should be a fascinating contest. The Andalusians have struggled for consistency as they look to record their first home win of this campaign. All the three games that they have played at home have resulted in losses, but against tough opponents like Sevilla, Villarreal and Valencia. On the other hand, their away form has been impressive as they’ve beaten the likes of Zaragoza and Getafe, adding to a draw last week at Almeria. Looking at the odds, Malaga has no chance of beating Real Madrid this weekend, but Coach Jesualdo Ferreira is ambitious that his team can cause a surprise against the Galacticos. It’d be interesting though to find out whether Malaga gets its first home win or will the club continue to look for it.

Aug 13, 2010 - Munich, Germany - Real coach JOSE MOURINHO at the 4:2 victory of Real Madrid against Bayern Munich at the Franz Beckenbauer farewell match in Munich, Germany.There’s plenty for Mourinho to think about in the next few weeks.

Real Madrid, meanwhile, opened their artilleries a fortnight ago against a hapless Deportivo La Coruna side by scoring as many as six goals , much to the relief of the players, the board and their fans after suffering a dreadful period in front of goal. Fourteen Real Madrid players represented different nations in the International break and are back to playing for their club as the schedule gets hectic. This weekend, they face a stern test against Malaga and on Tuesday they host European rivals Milan at the Santiago Bernabeu. But after whipping Deportivo a couple of weeks back, Jose Mourinho and the boys will be confident of getting a good result against an inconsistent Malaga side at the beautiful Estadio La Rosaleda.

Team News

Malaga – No major issues for the Andalusians and they’ll be looking to take full advantage of the 15-day rest.

Possible Starting Eleven – Galatto; Duarte-Helder-Oliviera-Mtiliga; dos Santos-Benitez-Escribano-Valente; Papelito-Giminez

Real MadridSergio Ramos is doubtful of playing on Saturday as he suffered an ankle knock in the game against Scotland. Ozil had also picked up a knock, but will be available as he has successfully recovered from it. The rest of the squad looks fit and ready to play. Mourinho is expected to use most of the players that played against Deportivo two weeks ago.

Football Fans Know Better

Possible Starting Eleven: Casillas; Arbeloa-Pepe-Carvalho-Marcelo; Alonso-Khedira; Ronaldo-Ozil-Di Maria; Higuain


Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid)

Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil (C) controls the ball past Levante's Sergio Ballesteros (R) as referee Carlos Delgado watches during their Spanish first division soccer match at the Ciudad de Valencia Stadium in Valencia, September 25, 2010. REUTERS/Heino Kalis (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)

The German will once again be a key figure for the Blancos.

Ozil has had a great start to his Real Madrid life after some fine performances in the white shirt. In the last two weeks for Germany, he was brilliant and showed the world what a talent he is. Los Merengues will be looking for a creative force to invent something against a Malaga side that will be looking to settle for a draw. Ozil can be the perfect answer.

TheHardTackle’s PREDICTION

One shouldn’t expect Real Madrid to score 5 or 6 goals again this time, but one can expect them to grab all the three points with some difficulty, as they will be keeping one eye on the big midweek game against Milan in the Champions League.

Malaga 0-2 Real Madrid