Tough test in Malaga for Real Madrid
Madrid: Real Madrid look for their sixteenth successive win in all competitions when they play in Malaga's La Rosaleda Stadium Saturday night.
The game in Malaga promises to be a tough game for Carloa Ancelotti's men, given that the home side are sixth in the BBVA Primera Liga and that Real Madrid play with little time to rest following their narrow Champions League win away to Basel Wednesday, reports Xinhua.
Ancelotti will change both of his full backs from that win and Iker Casillas will return in goal replacing Keylor Navas, but there will be few or no changes in the mid-field or attack in the Madrid line-up.
That means that Gareth Bale, who has been slightly below his best after returning from injury, Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 20 league goals already this season, and Karim Benzema will lead the attack in front of a mid-field comprised of Tony Kroos, James Rodriguez and Isco. Isco returns to the ground where he made his reputation as a footballer.
Speaking after the Basel game, Kroos admitted that he was feeling the effects of a long season in which he formed part of the Germany squad which won the World Cup in Brazil.
"I played the second half of last season with Bayern Munich then I played all matches of the World Cup, then two Supercups with Real Madrid and I have not missed a game since then. I have not played as much all my life. I am starting to get tired but I suppose I will get a rest sooner of later," he commented.
Malaga go into the match on the back of a 1-3 away defeat to Atletico Madrid in a game affected by the sending off of striker Samuel. The Spanish Football Federation has left Samuel's second booking from the weekend without effect and he can face Madrid, although Ignacio Camacho is suspended.
Xabi Gracia's side had won five consecutive games themselves before losing in the Vicente Calderon Stadium and with a packed house behind them they could make life very difficult for Ronaldo and company Saturday.