La Liga Round 15 Preview: Malaga faces Osasuna in the battle for a Europa League spot

Daniel Quinton-Navarro
Goal.com
La Liga Round 15 Preview: Malaga faces Osasuna in the battle for a Europa League spot



La Liga: Round 15
Preview

Table/Fixtures

Saturday DECEMBER 10
KO
Sunday DECEMBER 4
KO
Levante - Sevilla
12:00 Rayo Vallecano - Sporting Gijon
6:00
Betis - Valencia
2:00 Villarreal - Real Sociedad
10:00
Real Madrid - Barcelona
4:00
Getafe - Granada
10:00

 
Zaragoza - Mallorca
12:00
    Malaga - Osasuna
12:00
    Athletic Bilbao - Racing Santander 1:45
all kickoffs in ET   Espanyol - Atletico Madrid
3:30


Levante
vs Sevilla
                                                               
Levante hosts Sevilla at the Ciutat de Valencia with both teams attempting to continue their pursuit of European football, the Valencia-based club is currently two points ahead of Marcelino's side.

A full preview of this fixture can be found here


Betis
vs Valencia
                                                               
Betis has slipped to 17th in La Liga following its 10th consecutive match without a win, and faces a difficult challenge to end that run when the club comes up against third-placed Valencia on Saturday.

A full preview of this fixture can be found here


Real Madrid
vs Barcelona
                                                               
In the seventh El Clasico of 2011, the pressure is on Pep Guardiola's side after the current La Liga champion fell three points behind los Blancos, who have played a game less.

A full preview of this fixture can be found here


Rayo Vallecano
vs Sporting Gijon


PROBABLE LINEUPS

 
Cobeno
Tito, Arribas, Labaka, Casado
Movilla, Michel
Piti, Michu, Botelho
Tamudo

 

 
Pablo
Suarez, Botia, Hernandez, Canella
Rivera Cases
Trejo, Castro, Cuevas
Barral

TEAM NEWS
  • Rayo Vallecano was well beaten in the capital city derby 3-1 by a strong Atletico Madrid, leaving the club in 11th place.
  • Ramon Sandoval is without Javi Fuego and Jordi Figueras after both players picked up their fifth yellow card of the season leading to a one-game suspension.
  • Mikel Labaka is expected to deputize for Jordi, but should Raul Bravo prove his fitness Sandoval could opt to partner the former Real Madrid man with Alejandro Arribas.
 
  • Real Madrid inflicted a 3-0 defeat on Sporting Gijon, a result that leaves Manolo Preciado's side in the relegation zone.
  • Sebastian Eguren was shown a red card in the match against Mourinho's men and will miss the trip to Rayo.
  • With Ricardo Leon out through injury Preciado will hope that Nacho Cases will be fit enough to make the journey to the capital.

 

 


Villarreal
vs Real Sociedad


PROBABLE LINEUPS

 
Lopez
Gaspar, Gonzalo, Zapata, Oriol
Angel, Bruno
Perez, Valero, Guzman
Ruben

 

 
Bravo
C. Martinez, Gonzalez, I. Martinez, Estrada
Elustondo, Mariga
Griezmann, Zurutuza, Vela
Agirretxe

TEAM NEWS
  • Villarreal was beaten 2-0 by Napoli in the team's final Champions League match, leaving the Spanish outfit without a single point during a disappointing campaign.
  • Mateo Musacchio is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season against Racing.
  • The Yellow Submarine's injury list is steadily decreasing after Javier Garrido welcomed back Nilmar and Cani, with only Giuseppe Rossi and Catala absent due to injury.
 
  • Philippe Montainer's side enjoyed its second consecutive victory after coming from a goal down to win 3-2 against Malaga with a last minute goal lifting Sociedad away from the relegation zone as a result.
  • Xabi Prieto could return to the squad after missing Sociedad's last two games because of injury.
  • Asier Illarramendi and Markel Bergara, however, are both unfit for the trip to Villarreal.

 


Getafe
vs Granada


PROBABLE LINEUPS

 
Moya
Valera, Rafa, Diaz, Torres
Lacen, Michel
Rios, Sarabia, Castro
Miku

 

 
Roberto
Nyom, Lopez, Diakhate, Siqueira
Rico, Yebda
Jara, Uche, Benitez
Ighalo

TEAM NEWS
  • Getafe succumbed to a 3-0 defeat on Monday night against Sevilla, the team's seventh loss of the season.
  • At the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Getafe has enjoyed some success - the club is unbeaten in its last five matches at home.
  • Daniel Guiza, Pedro Leon and Oscar Ustari are all out due to injury.

 

 
  • Granada beat Zaragoza 1-0 last time out, lifting the team up to 12th in La Liga table - its highest position so far this season.
  • Carlos Martins picked up an injury against Zaragoza and is out for the next two matches, minimum, as a result.
  • Granada completed its match against Mallorca this week. The match was abandoned after a hour of play. Going into the resumed portion 2-1 ahead, Granada ended with a 2-2 draw.


Zaragoza
vs Mallorca


PROBABLE LINEUPS

 
Roberto
Juarez, Mateos, Lanzaro, Paredes
Ponzio, Zuculini
Barrera, Micael, Garcia
Postiga

 

 
Aouate
Cendros, Nunes, Ramis, Caceres
Tissone, Tejera, Pina
Nsue, Castro
Hemed

TEAM NEWS
  • Zaragoza failed to score for the third consecutive match, losing to Granada by a solitary goal.
  • Leo Franco, Paulo Da Silva and Fernando Meira are all unfit for the visit of Mallorca on Sunday.
  • If Zaragoza is going to avoid defeat the club will need to score first as Javier Aguirre's men have lost all eight matches in which they have gone behind. 

 

 

 
  • Mallorca drew 1-1 against Athletic Bilbao in a hard-earned match, leaving the team just three points clear of the drop zone.
  • Jose Nunes is expected to start after recovering from injury, completing his return in the remaining 30 minutes against Granada.
  • In the match against Granada, which was abandoned after an hour with the score at 2-1 in favor of the newly promoted outfit, Mallorca was awarded a penalty which helped the club to a 2-2 draw. 

 


Malaga
vs Osasuna


PROBABLE LINEUPS

 
Caballero
Sanchez, Demichelis, Mathijsen, Monreal
Toulalan, Duda
Fernandez, Cazorla, Isco
Rondon

 

 
Andres
Roversio, Flano, Sergio, Raitala
Garcia, Punal
Cejudo, Ibrahima, Lamah
Nino

TEAM NEWS
  • Malaga's four-game unbeaten run came to a surprising end against Real Sociedad. The Andalucian's were leading 2-1 heading into the final five minutes before two goals saw them lose the match 3-2.
  • Defender Sergio Sanchez pulled up in the match against Zaragoza and is doubtful for the match.
  • Malaga has a number of injury problems ahead of Osasuna's visit with Weligton, Julio Baptista and Joaquin all confirmed as unfit for the game.

 

 
  • Osasuna beat Betis 2-1 thanks to Javad Nekounam's free kick in the dying minutes.
  • The Iranian midfielder is absent for the trip to Malaga after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season, as is defender Damia for the same reason.
  • A further issue for Mendilibar is that Ruben picked up an injury against Betis and isn't expected to return until January.

 




Athletic Bilbao
vs Racing Santander


PROBABLE LINEUPS

 
Iraizoz
Iraola, Martinez, Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe
Iturraspe, Ander
Susaeta, Marcos, Muniain
Toquero

 

 
Ramirez
Gonzalez, Torrejon, Bernardo, Fernandez
Arana, Diop, Adrian, Munitis
Kone
Stuani

TEAM NEWS
  • Athletic Bilbao secured a narrow 1-0 win over Real Oviedo in the first leg of the Copa del Rey tie.
  • Fernando Llorente remains doubtful after the Spanish striker aggravated a knee injury in the Europa League match against Bratislava.
  • The Basques have won on only two occasions at San Mames.

 

 

 
  • Racing Santander overcame Villarreal's challenge last time out by a 1-0 scoreline to move out of the bottom of the table.
  • Following the sacking of Hector Cuper, the trio of Juanjo Gonzalez, Pablo Pinillos and Fede Castano were on the touchline against Villarreal, and they will remain in the dugout for the trip to Bilbao.
  • Kennedy is continuing his road to recovery having trained in the week. The winger has not featured since the first game.


Espanyol
vs Atletico Madrid


PROBABLE LINEUPS

 
Alvarez
Galan, Moreno, Rodriguez, Didac
Forlin, Gomez
Garcia, Romaric, Verdu
Alvaro

 

 
Courtois
Silvio, Miranda, Dominguez, Luis
Gabi, Suarez
Turan, Diego, Reyes
Falcao

TEAM NEWS
  • Espanyol slumped to a 2-1 defeat against Valencia in its last match, extending the Catalan's winless run to five matches.
  • Manchester City loanee Vladimir Weiss is suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.
  • Strikers Sergio Garcia and Walter Pandiani are close to full fitness and could feature, but Javi Marquez has been ruled out for up to two months after surgery on his ankle.
 
  • Atletico won the capital city derby against Rayo Vallecano 3-1, a week after its 4-1 loss against Real Madrid.
  • Gregorio Manzano's side lost the first leg of the Copa del Rey on Thursday night going down 2-1 to Albacete, with striker Adrian missing a vital penalty with a score at 1-0 in the home side's favor.
  • Arda Turan, Diego Godin and Thibaut Courtois are all available following their one-game bans.