Thursday, March 23, 2017

Barcelona v Malaga: Rosales hopes for another upset

SoccerNews in La Liga 27 Aug 2015

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Malaga winger Roberto Rosales believes that Javi Gracia’s side can prove last season’s victory at Camp Nou was no fluke when they head to Barcelona again on Saturday.

Juanmi, now at Southampton, scored the only goal as Malaga triumphed 1-0 in the corresponding fixture in 2014-15 and Rosales is determined to repeat the feat, but knows it will take a special performance.

“Going there and winning is an important achievement, but that was last year,” he said.

“We’re in a new season with new players now, so it’ll be a totally different match.

“Logically, Barcelona are the favorites and are always obliged to win, because of the players they have.

“But we’ll do our utmost to counteract them. We played a great match last season there, a real team game.

“Our strength has always been teamwork and our defence is down to the work of every player, starting with the forwards, who are the first defenders.

“Individually you’ll never be able to stop Barcelona, ​​only collectively, so this is what we must do.”

Malaga started their Liga campaign with a goalless draw at home to Sevilla, while Barca secured a 1-0 win against Athletic Bilbao in the Basque country thanks to Luis Suarez’s strike.

“It was Important to start off with a good match we played like against Sevilla,” Rosales added.

“The team was compact and applied all the hard work we did over the pre-season to the game; the new signings brought a lot to the match and will continue to do so. 

“We are determined to improve, but it’s difficult to grasp the rhythm of competition in the first match of the season.

Malaga, who re-signed Roque Santa Cruz on loan from Mexican outfit Cruz Azul on Wednesday, will be without key midfielder Ignacio Camacho, while Barca could be without up to four of their first team stars.

Luis Enrique’s side, who were drawn with Roma, Bayer Leverkusen and BATE in Thursday’s UEFA Champions League Group Stage draw, could welcome back Neymar, who has returned to training after recovering from mumps, while Sergio Busquets has overcome an ankle injury.

Lionel Messi was named UEFA Player of the Year in Monaco and will seek to add to open his Liga account for the season.

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