Malaga will be looking to grab all three points this weekend when they welcome Real Betis to La Rosaleda on Saturday (5pm BST).
Malaga played out a bore draw with Athletic Bilbao at San Mames last weekend, with very little happening at either end of the pitch. A point gained is the way Manuel Pellegrini is likely to view the away trip to Bilbao, hopefully counting for much more later down the road.
It also might have been viewed as a slight hangover from the excitement of their Champions League proper debut against Zenit, a game in which Isco proved his worth on the continental stage.
Bilbao is a difficult place to go to, especially considering the noise the home support can make. But Bilbao are in a bad way at the moment and Malaga certainly had the quality to put them to the sword.
Against Real Betis this weekend, Pellegrini’s side should be looking to pick up the win and continue their very good form in the league.
At the moment, Malaga are in fourth, having surrendered their second placed position to Atletico Madrid. But it’s no great concern at the moment, everyone at Malaga would certainly take another fourth placed finish and a path towards Champions League football again next season.
There are goals and creativity and defensive strength in Malaga’s team. They’ve kept two clean sheets in their last two games in all competitions, but I think we’ll see that short run ended this weekend.
I do, however, believe Malaga will find their way onto the score sheet again. Javier Saviola is settling in nicely, getting two goals for his new side already, and Roque Santa Cruz was used in the last game against Bilbao.
Jeremy Toulalan is also back from injury. That is a big boost to the side who really need his defensive work and the safety net he provides from the midfield.
Malaga winger Joaquin recently spoke about the way the team are moving on from the disappointment of last summer and have great belief in the manager. This match against Betis will also see Joaquin face his former team, who he left to join Valencia in 2006.
Real Betis are also doing well in La Liga so far. They’ve picked up three wins, two of which came away and are in sixth place in the league table.
They recently suffered defeat at home to Atletico Madrid, with the final score of 4-2 to the visitors, but that’s hardly something to be too concerned about considering how well Atletico are doing.
They are, however, getting points where they need to. They beat Espanyol 1-0 last weekend, although that’s to be expected. Prior to that they got three points away to Valladolid. They’re doing the right things and getting goals from different sources.
Ruben Castro in the main striker for Betis. The 31-year old has an excellent scoring record for his side since completing his move from Deportivo in 2010. Castro has two goals in four this season, with a total of 16 in the last campaign.
Arsenal’s Joel Campbell is also currently on the books of Betis, having joined on loan for the season. He’ll be unavailable for this match, however, due to a ridiculous officiating decision which saw him red carded in the last game against Atletico.
Malaga v Betis Betting Tips
I expect a good and open game between Malaga and Betis at La Rosaleda. Both teams know how to find the goal and have done consistently this season.