Malaga have begun their Champions League campaign with a perfect record, but they'll face their toughest test yet against AC Milan.
Malaga have been nothing short of excellent after two group stage matches, keeping a perfect record as they dispatched Anderlecht and Zenit St. Petersburg. Now they face their biggest test so far as they host AC Milan with a chance to take control at the top of Group C.
For Milan it's all about continuing the momentum gained from their 3-2 away win over Zenit earlier in the month. It was the club's first away Champions League victory in seven attempts. Stephan El Shaarawy was a big part of that win, becoming the youngest Rossoneri player to ever score in a Champions League match, and should feature in the attack. Of course the fresh wounds of a 3-2 loss to Lazio last weekend won't help spirits as Milan continues to struggle with inconsistency this season.
Malaga will be looking to prove they belong at the top of the group with a win over Milan. This very well could be one of the biggest matches in the club's history as a victory will all but punch a ticket to the knockout round. The only injury issue facing Los Boquerones is Nacho Monreal. If he can't go, expect Manuel Pellegrini to shift Eliseu to left-back and insert Manuel Iturra in to the midfield.
Malaga injuries and suspensions
Out: Jérémy Toulalan (hamstring), Diego Buonanotte (knee), Sergio Sánchez (virus), Júlio Baptista (Achilles tendon) . In doubt: Nacho Monreal (back).
AC Milan injuries and suspensions
Out: Christian Abbiati (illness), Ignazio Abate (unspecified), De Jong (hip) In Doubt: Alexandre Pato (thigh), Robinho (thigh)
Nacho Monreal has been listed as out by some outlets, while others claim he'll have a late fitness test ... so we'll go with in doubt. It'll be a blow for Malaga if he can't play, but Pellegrini will be able to make adjustments and it's not like he hasn't known about the injury for the last few days. Milan's only issue is Robinho who hurt his thigh muscle in training this week. He's not expected to be available, but you never know. Pato appeared this weekend, but isn't likely fit to start.
Match Date/Time: 9:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio La Rosaleda, Malaga, Spain
TV: DirecTV (U.S.), Sky Sports Red Button (U.K.)
Online: FOX Soccer 2 Go (U.S.), Sportsnet World Online (Canada)