When FC Malaga was purchased by Sheikh Abdullah al Thani, everyone anticipated massive investments, followed by equally impressive results. The fact that Malaga climbed as far as the 4th place was encouraging, but apparently not enough for the new owners. Now the rumors are that the Sheikh plans to withdraw his backing of the club, and there are some signs to believe these gossips.
Match: Celta Vigo vs Malaga
Bet: Celta Vigo
Odds: bet365 2.20
Some of the players who were expected to turn the team around have departed, and without the likes of Rondon, Cazorla and Van Nistelrooy, it will be very difficult for Malaga to finish the season anywhere close to the podium. Nobody expected them to compete with Barcelona or Real Madrid, but the most enthusiastic fans were hoping for third place, something that now looks highly improbable. The first match of the season will be played against Celta Vigo which appears to be a relatively easy opponent, given the fact that it played in the second division last year.
Not enough options upfront for Malaga
The hosts shouldn’t be trifled with, because they don’t lack experience in Primera Division, a place where they have spent countless seasons in a not so distant past. Basically they spent the last decade competing among the best Spanish teams, relegated to Liga Adelante and then clawing their way back to the top. Few teams have shown such relentlessness and now that they return to the first flight, it is expected from Celta Vigo to play its best game in front of its fans.
There is more than enthusiasm and determination that recommends the hosts tonight, because they also have an amazing offensive department to back up their claims. This is not something that can be said about their rivals, with Malaga having just two strikers to turn to in times of need. Fernandez is 27 years old but scored only 12 goals in two seasons spent in Primera Division, while 19 years old Jimenez Lopez has scored five goals in 28 games spanning over three seasons. It is obvious that the visitors lack the means to threaten Javi Varas’ net and they will probably resort to some defensive football.
Even when they had their best players on the field, Malaga was not truly a threat away from home and won most of the points in front of their fans. With a depleted squad and struggling financially, it will be even more difficult for the visitors to leave Vigo with points. Bet365 correctly anticipates a home victory but the odds are reasonably high to justify the backing of the hosts.