Munir El Haddadi & Neymar
Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 in midweek without Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez Reuters

Barcelona can reclaim the top spot in La Liga, at least temporarily, by beating Malaga at La Rosaleda on 23 January.

Where to watch

Kick-off is set for 3pm GMT. The game is not scheduled for live broadcast in the UK.


Twelfth-placed Malaga were beaten 2-1 by Andalusian rivals Sevilla on 16 January, extending their winless run in La Liga to two matches. Malaga have not beaten Barcelona at La Rosaleda for over a decade, with their last win coming all the way back in December 2003.

Defender Marcos Angeleri and midfielder Recio have shaken off knocks and are expected to feature against Barcelona. Arthur Boka is suspended after his sending off in the Sevilla match, while Moroccan international Nordin Amrabat left Malaga to join Premier League club Watford on 18 January.

A Neymar-inspired Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao 2-1 at San Mames in midweek to take charge of the Copa del Rey quarter-final tie between the sides. A victory in Andalusia will propel the Catalan giants to the top of the La Liga table, with leaders Atletico Madrid not in action until 24 January.

Lionel Messi is back in training after a muscle problem and is likely to start at La Rosaleda but Jordi Alba (hamstring) and Aleix Vidal (concussion) are doubts and Gerard Pique is suspended.

What managers say

Javi Gracia: "We started off well, conceding few chances to [Sevilla] and maintaining pressure upfront. We didn't let their fluid start in the attacking half affect us; when the rival gradually starts to overcome the rival lines and eventually finds space at the back of the defence thanks to the speed of the players upfront. We struggled with this more in the second half."

Luis Enrique: "This team has unique ambition and they are prepared to compete in every way and if they have to defend then they do it. Today [Athletic] created very few chances against us. I leave happy with the result."

Form guide

  • Malaga: LDWWW
  • Last result: Sevilla 2-1 Malaga
  • Barcelona (all competitions): WWWWW
  • Last result: Athletic Bilbao 1-2 Barcelona (Copa del Rey)

Betting odds (888sport)

  • Malaga win: 17/2
  • Draw: 17/4
  • Barcelona win: 1/3

Team news

Malaga possible XI: Kameni; Rosales, Albentosa, Weligton, Torres; Juanpi, Camacho, Recio, Castro; Charles, Cop

Barcelona possible XI: Bravo; Alves, Vermaelen, Mascherano, Adriano; Rakitic, Roberto, Turan; Messi, Suarez, Neymar