Barcelona vs. Malaga, Copa del Rey Quarterfinal: Preview

David Ramos

Malaga will look to bounce back from a 3-1 drumming against Barcelona over the weekend by taking the first step towards knocking the Blaugrana out of the Copa de Rey

It wasn't a good weekend for Malaga, to say the least. A 3-1 loss to Barcelona was not only demoralizing, it dropped Manuel Pellegrini's side our of a Champions League spot for the time being. Fortunately, or possibly unfortunately, for Malaga they get another crack at the league leaders as the two sides meet today in the Copa de Rey quarterfinal first leg match.

Saturday's defeat looked a bit worse for Malaga than it really was. Los Boquerones played well and showed they have the ability to worry Barca, but their positive work was short circuited by a momentary lapse of concentration. If they can avoid the mistakes, there's every reason to believe they could put some pressure on Barcelona and set-up an interesting second leg.

Then again this is Barcelona, they're nearly healthy and they'll probably be rolling out a mostly first choice lineup. David Villa is the only major issue at the moment who is out with a hamstring issue. Tito Vilanova will probably put out a nice mix of regular starts and reserves/Barcelona B players with some of the heavy hitters lurking on the bench should any troubles arise.

Barcelona injuries and suspensions

Out: David Villa (hamstring), Isaac Cuenca (knee), Marc Muniesa (knee). In doubt: None.

Malaga injuries and suspensions

Out: None. In Doubt: None.

David Villa's hamstring will keep him out of this match, while youngsters Cuenca and Muniesa who would be prime candidates to pick-up first team minutes in matches like this are still recovering from knee injuries.

Match Date/Time: 9 p.m. local, 3 p.m. ET

Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain

TV: beIN Sport (U.S.), Sky Sports 1 (U.K.)

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