Malaga can sew up top spot in Champions League Group C on Tuesday against Anderlecht, who are battling for the Europa League spot.
With the top two qualification spots already assured, AC Milan having also qualified, relinquishing top spot remains highly improbable for the Spanish side, with Milan three points behind heading into the last round of group games.
Zenit St Petersburg must feel they need points away to AC Milan to leapfrog Anderlecht for third place and a Europa League berth.
Both sides have four points but need a positive away result against the top two, who have little to play for and may rest players.
Anderlecht will be up against it in Malaga, who have won both their Champions League matches at the Estadio Rosaleda, and are yet to be defeated in the group.
But while Manuel Pellegrini’s side have been a revelation in the Champions League this season, their fine run appears to have taken its toll in La Liga, where they won just one in their past six games.
Conversely, Anderlecht will be buoyed by a run of six straight wins in the Belgian league.
John van den Brom’s side were desperately unlucky to lose to AC Milan last time out in Europe, with Philippe Mexes’ audacious overhead goal changing a game that the Dutch side dominated for large parts.
If both Zenit and Anderlecht match one another’s results, third position will go down to goal difference given both posted 1-0 home wins in the sides’ two group games.
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