Pellegrini eyes winning return

Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini is hoping to get back to winning ways against Atletico Madrid on Sunday.

Last Updated: 02/03/13 at 19:14

Manuel Pellegrini: Wants a win on Sunday

Manuel Pellegrini: Wants a win on Sunday

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini is hoping to get back to winning ways against Atletico Madrid on Sunday following a fortnight of disappointing results.

The Andalusian side go into the match at La Rosaleda off the back of a humiliating 3-0 derby defeat at Real Betis last Sunday and a 1-0 loss in the first leg of their Champions League last 16-tie with Porto the week before.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Sunday's visit of fellow high-flyers Atletico, Pellegrini said: "When you lose a match, it's tough to regain a positive spirit over the week.

"We're very conscious of the games we've lost, but football changes week after week. We're hoping to return to the same winning form we've shown for the majority of the season."

And despite the two poor results, the Chilean is still optimistic about his team's fortunes for the remainder of the campaign.

He said: "We're still in a top spot in the league, and we've got the Champions League second leg at home, in which we're just 1-0 down. I'm confident we can get back to the high level we were at before."

Fourth-placed Malaga will be without the suspended Ignacio Camacho, plus the injured Julio Baptista and Sergio Sanchez, in addition to Eliseu, who has been out of action since the beginning of February due to a knee injury.

Pellegrini acknowledged these injuries were a blow, but emphasised that his team would be able to cope with the absences.

He said: "As coach, any injured player makes your job a lot more difficult. The more players there are available to play, the easier it is for the coach to decide the line-up.

"We've got some important players injured at the moment, but we've come through this before at other times throughout the season."

Second-placed Atletico have some selection headaches of their own for the match as they seek to close the gap on leaders Barcelona back to nine points following the Catalan club's defeat to Real Madrid today.

Midfielder Tiago will definitely miss the game after breaking his arm during the Copa del Rey semi-final second leg against Sevilla on Wednesday, and will be out of action for at least a month.

Coach Diego Simeone lamented the injury to the player, saying: "Tiago is a hugely important player to our group. He's loved by all his team-mates, he's a hard worker and he waited patiently for his moment in the team in the first half of the season and he responded in the way I always thought he would, as he did last season."

Another player that will be missing for the Rojiblancos is Gabi, who is suspended.

Simeone revealed that Mario Suarez would definitely be in the team to face Malaga in place of Tiago, but was unsure whether Cristian Rodriguez or Koke would step in for Gabi.

However, he emphasised he had full confidence in all three players.

"Mario, who will play, can help us going forward, he's dynamic on the ball and and will make us more aggressive when we have the ball," he said.

"We'll have to decide whether Koke or Rodriguez, plays. If it's Koke, his passing will help us a lot. If it's Rodriguez, he'll give us more aggression and strength when we're going from defence to attack."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

La Liga Fixtures

Friday, 03 October 2014
20:00
Getafe v Cordoba  
Saturday, 04 October 2014
15:00
Valencia v A Madrid  
17:00
R Vallecano v Barcelona  
19:00
Eibar v Levante  
21:00
Almeria v Elche  
Malaga v Granada  
Sunday, 05 October 2014
11:00
Sevilla v Deportivo  
16:00
Celta Vigo v Villarreal  
18:00
Espanyol v Sociedad  
20:00
R Madrid v Ath Bilbao  

Spanish Primera BBVA

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Barcelona 6 17 16
2 Valencia 6 11 14
3 A Madrid 6 7 14
4 Sevilla 6 2 13
5 R Madrid 6 11 12
6 Celta Vigo 6 4 12
7 Villarreal 6 1 8
8 Eibar 6 1 8
9 R Vallecano 6 0 8
10 Almeria 6 0 8
11 Granada 6 -5 8
12 Espanyol 6 -1 6
13 Malaga 6 -3 6
14 Getafe 6 -7 6
15 Sociedad 6 -1 5
16 Ath Bilbao 6 -2 4
17 Deportivo 6 -8 4
18 Elche 6 -9 4
19 Levante 6 -16 4
20 Cordoba 6 -7 3

Updated Sun, 28 Sep 2014

Footer 365

Sky Bet Championship: Fulham thump Bolton, Huddersfield win at Wolves, Leeds held

Fulham thrashed Bolton 4-0 in the Championship, while Huddersfield won at Molineux to deny Wolves top spot.

Premier League: Sunderland boss Gus Poyet delighted Lee Cattermole stayed at club

Gus Poyet believes keeping Lee Cattermole was the best transfer decision he has made while at Sunderland.

Champions League: Liverpool out of sorts in 1-0 defeat at FC Basel

Liverpool paid the price for a disjointed performance as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to FC Basel in the Champions League.

Mail Box

It Was Better When City Were Rubbish

'I think I preferred it when we were s**t' says one City fan in the afternoon mailbox. There's a decent chat about the empty seats plus views on Liverpool and Roma...

Do City Really Need To Expand Their Stadium?

That's the question posed by one Man United fan in the mailbox after seeing the empty seats at the Etihad last night. Sadly, there isn't a single mail from a City supporter...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property