Malaga will take another crack at getting the first win at home in 2013 as they host struggling Atheltic Bilbao at La Rosadela. That little fact makes Malaga managing to keep their tenuous hold on fourth place even more impressive but at some point they'll need to start winning home games if they want to stay there.
Manuel Pellegrini has been busy in the press reminding his team to not overlook Athletic and to keep focused. Good advice considering that Athletic are still a dangerous side despite their awful overall performance this season.
Atheltic's Marcelo Bielsa admitted that his team has a bit of morale problem after their humiliating 4-0 home defeat at the hands of Espanyol last week. Despite the result, Bielsa has said he feels his team played well and "dominated for an hour" before being overrun by Espanyol late. Bielsa is no dummy though, he realizes that his team need to start taking advantage of their chances, and not wasting them, if they have any hope of salvaging their season.
Athletic will be without Iker Muniain who suffered a knee injury in last weekend's loss. They will have Ibai Gomez after he recovered from a knock he picked up on the weekend. Carlos Gurpegui and Fernando Llorente are in the squad, but neither play is expected to start.
Malaga injuries and suspensions
Out: Jesús Gámez (calf), Eliseu (knee), Sebastián Fernández (eye). In doubt: None.
Athletic Bilbao injuries and suspensions
Out: Borja Ekiza (ankle), Iñigo Pérez (hamstring), Iker Muniain (knee), Iñigo Ruiz (knee). In Doubt: None.
Atheltic's Iker Munian couldn't recover fast enough from a knee injury picked up against Espanyol and will be out of action this weekend. Ekiza is still trying to come back from a sprained ankle while Pérez and Ruiz are long term injuries. For Malaga, Fernández is out with an eye injury.
Match Date/Time: 6 p.m. local, 12:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio La Rosaleda, Malaga, Spain
TV: beIN Sport en Español (U.S.)