Malaga’s Champions League adventure ended abruptly when the Spanish team conceded two goals in the overtime of the second leg. Now they need to focus on the domestic competition, and the first team to beat en route to another European cup presence is lowly Osasuna.
Match: Malaga vs Osasuna
Odds: William Hill 2.05
Malaga tumbled from the fourth place to the seventh and right now they are out of the sweet spot, but only one point separates them from a Europa League placement. With Betis failing to win at home against city rivals Sevilla, Malaga could climb all the way to the fifth place if Valencia fails to win away at Espanyol. Coach Pellegrini no longer has to concern himself with resting players for vital Champions League games, and is free to field the best starting formation.
The hosts will miss Santa Cruz as the prolific striker is sidelined with an injury, but will have Saviola upfront and this should be enough to exploit the defensive weakness of Osasuna. The visitors don’t have high ambitions for the remaining rounds, and would more than happily settle for a draw at Malaga. Their priority is to keep a safe distance from the relegation area and not losing away fixtures is the way to consolidate their slim advantage. Just like their opponents, the visitors won just one game in the last five fixtures, a 3-1 victory away at Valladolid.
The head to head record indicates a one-sided game, with the visitors defending for 90 min. and the risk of the game ending in a draw is reduced. Bookmakers justly regard Malaga as favorite to win, but only William Hill offers odds above evens, making it the best choice for those who trust the hosts.