Karim Benzema
A Karim Benzema double gave Real Madrid a 2-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao at San MamesReuters

Real Madrid will look consolidate their lead at the top of the La Liga table when they face Malaga at the Santiago Bernabeu on 26 September.

Where to watch live

Kick-off is set for 5.15pm BST. The game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports 2 HD.

Overview

Real Madrid moved to the top of the La Liga table after battling to a 2-1 victory at Athletic Bilbao, while arch rivals Barcelona crashed to a heavy defeat at Celta Vigo. Rafael Benitez's side have won five matches on the trot in all competitions and will look to continue their fine form against Malaga.

Real remain without Gareth Bale who has a calf injury, James Rodriguez is also out due to a thigh problem and Danilo has troubles with his foot, while defenders Sergio Ramos will out becasue of a shoulder injury, Pepe may also not be seen on the pitch.

Meanwhile, Malaga are languishing second from bottom in the La Liga standings and are yet to score a goal this season. The Andalusians' misery was compounded in the midweek after a Fernando Tissone own goal gifted Villarreal three points at La Rosaleda.

Arthur Boka, Roque Santa Cruz and Ignacio Camacho are all sidelined and will not feature at the Bernabeu, but midfielder Nordin Amrabat is available after recovering from a knock.

What managers say

Rafael Benitez: "We are doing well, but this is the start, just September. We must put in a base now so that in March or April, we can be favourites then. We must keep working, keep feeling good, so that we reach the end well. Being leaders can help you, or the mood around club can hurt you. We must make sure not to lose concentration or make mistakes. You don't relax now you're on the top, and lose that which got you there."

Javi Gracia: "I see this match (against Villarreal) and the harsh reality of our situation, with the optimism that we're only on the fifth game of the season. This encourages me that we are capable of changing this dynamic. It's tough as every day that passes is another opportunity lost, an opportunity for which we've been preparing with great enthusiasm. I must be concerned as we need to find a way to correct and improve on our lack of goals."

Form guide

  • Real Madrid (all competitions): WWWWW
  • Last result: Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Real Madrid
  • Malaga: LLDLD
  • Last result: Malaga 0-1 Villarreal

Betting odds (888sport)

  • Real Madrid win: 1/7
  • Draw: 8
  • Malaga win: 20

Team news

Real Madrid possible XI: Navas; Carvajal, Nacho, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Kovacic; Vasquez, Isco, Ronaldo; Benzema.

Malaga possible XI: Kameni; Rosales, Albentosa, Angeleri, Torres; Tissone, Recio; Duda, Amrabat, Horta; Charles.