Everything you need to know ahead of the Catalans’ league game at home to the struggling Andalusians on Saturday…
Barcelona face Malaga at Camp Nou on Saturday as top meets bottom in the ninth round of La Liga.
The Blaugrana lost their 100 per cent record in the Primera Division last weekend as they drew 1-1 away to Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano, but the Catalans are four points clear of second-placed Valencia and five ahead of Real Madrid after eight games.
Barca beat Olympiacos 3-1 in the Champions League on Wednesday night, meaning Ernesto Valverde’s side have picked up maximum points from their three European games so far this season as well.
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Here, Goal looks at everything you need to know as the Catalans return to Liga action on Saturday…
Ousmane Dembele is still sidelined with a thigh injury and is unlikely to feature again in 2017. Rafinha is also out for Barcelona, with Arda Turan and Jordi Alba both doubtful for the game against Malaga.
Ousmane Dembele Getafe Barcelona
Gerard Pique was sent off for two bookable offences in the Champions League on Wednesday night, but Barcelona do not have any players suspended in La Liga.
Gerard Pique Barcelona
BARCELONA POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UP
Jordi Alba has a minor injury and faces a battle to be fit for the game against Malaga. If the Spain left-back does not make it, Lucas Digne, who scored a fine goal against Olympiacos on Wednesday, will start again.
Nelson Semedo is expected to return at right-back, while Pique will start in central defence as his red card on Wednesday came in the Champions League.
Gerard Deulofeu could keep his place in attack after impressing for the first 45 minutes against Olympiacos, before making way at half-time due to Pique’s dismissal.
Deulefeu 6/4 to score anytime
Barcelona possible Malaga
MALAGA TEAM NEWS
Malaga coach Michel is under increasing pressure after picking up just one point from eight games so far this season in La Liga.
The Andalusians have lost to Eibar, Girona, Las Palmas, Atletico, Valencia, Sevilla and Leganes in the Primera Division, earning their only point in a 3-3 draw with Athletic Club.
Diego Gonzalez and Zdravko Kuzmanovic miss out through injury, while Recio is suspended. Roberto Jimenez and Juan Carlos Perez are doubtful.
Michel Malaga Barcelona La Liga
BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS
Malaga were the only team Barcelona failed to win against in La Liga last season (drawing at home and losing away to the Andalusians).
Barcelona have won their last 16 games at home in La Liga, the longest current run of any team in the competition.
After scoring 10 goals in his first 10 games against Malaga in La Liga, Lionel Messi netted only one in the sides’ next six meetings and that was at La Rosaleda, in January 2016.
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Ernesto Valverde has only lost four of his 14 meetings as manager with Malaga in La Liga, all four with Athletic Club.
Michel has lost six of his seven managerial games against Barca in the top flight. His only win was last season at La Rosaleda (2-0).
TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME
Barcelona versus Malaga kicks off at 20:45 local time at Camp Nou on Saturday and will be broadcast live from 19:40 UK time on Sky Sports Football.