Match preview: Barcelona v Malaga

FC Barcelona v Malaga CF, Primera Division, March 22, 2009

The surprise package of the Spanish season travel to the Nou Camp on Sunday in an attempt to continue what has been an incredible season.

This match features an array of attacking talent that should entertain in spades as Barcelona attempts to maintain its six-point lead over Real Madrid who will have played earlier in the day on Sunday.

Malaga is in the midst of a season that has outstripped even their most optimistic expectations, as they are sixth and dreaming of European qualification with a Champions League spot in touching distance.

Barca will be without injured defenders Carlos Puyol and Eric Abidal once again, forcing Pep Guardiola to start with veteran Sylvinho on the left. Malaga might take advantage of this sole weak point in Barcelona’s defence, as the extremely fast winger Eliseu (pictured) may start on the right flank to potentially use his pace to make a difference.

After a minor wobble in late February and early March, Barcelona are returning to form and last week they produced two fine performances against Lyon and Almeria which were full of the fluid attacking football that has had fans drooling this season.

Pep Guardiola will have a selection headache this week following the brace from Bojan Krkic at Almeria last week. Nevertheless, Samuel Eto’o and Thierry Henry will surely start with international matches to come next week.

Malaga also boast a very good pair up front. Talented Nabil Baha who is in good form this season is playing as the supporting striker for veteran Salva Ballesta, who is also in excellent shape lately. Their combination has proved to be lethal this season, and with two wingers supporting them they will threaten Barcelona.

Barca won 4-1 at Malaga in November and with 123 league goals between these two sides this season, this could be a goal-fest.

101gg predicts: Barcelona 4 – Malaga 2 (66/1)

Full match odds here.