clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Real Madrid vs Málaga, La Liga 2015/16: Match Preview

Can Real Madrid afford to rotate against Málaga's stubborn defence?

Playing well as a unit.
Playing well as a unit.
Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Matchday 6 of the Liga BBVA brings second from bottom Málaga to the Santiago Bernabéu. This match would seem like a good opportunity for Benítez to give his starting players a rest before next week's crucial derby against Atlético Madrid. However, despite his rotation policy Benítez recently indicated that he would not rotate a player like Cristiano Ronaldo by saying that he is the only undisputed player on the roster. On the other hand, don't be surprised to see Casemiro or Jesé Rodríguez start the match as they haven't played as many minutes as they would have liked so far.

Denis Cheryshev is a player who might also get some minutes from this encounter despite Benítez seemingly not favouring him early on this season. Another fellow academy returnee Lucas Vázquez should also be in the running to feature even though he has performed to average standards up to this point. The problem for Los Blancos in regards to rotating in attack against Málaga is that Málaga have a good defence that is capable of shutting out a weakened Madrid forward line. The Andalusians have already held fellow slackers Sevilla to a 0-0 draw as well as doing the same to Eibar.

In their other three matches in La Liga this season, Málaga have only lost all of them by conceding one single goal. Bear in mind that two of these games were against Barcelona and Villarreal whom we know can be very potent in attack. So regardless of their own woes in front of goal at least Málaga are defensively sound. Much of this stems from their impressive goalkeeper Carlos Kameni who last season kept World Cup star Guillermo Ochoa on the sidelines with his performances.

Where Benítez can be quite confident of rotating is in defence. Pepe and Ramos are both expected to be out for this match and whilst both omissions may be precautionary lets remember that we will want them both fit for the derby against Atléti. Therefore, Nacho and Varane will start in the centre of defence. Málaga having not yet scored a single goal this season should not be expected to trouble the young centre back pairing. In midfield, both Toni Kroos or Luka Modric could be rested to give Casemiro or Kovacic a start. Along with the aforementioned Pepe and Ramos, James Rodríguez, Gareth Bale and Danilo will all miss the game due to injury.

Madrid's offence has been disjointed this season so far turning in Jekyll and Hyde performances. They thrashed Betis and Espanyol but struggled against Sporting Gijón and Granada. Benítez will know that his team, who have yet to lose a game this season, have a good chance of winning this match but also that they will have to play their cards right if they are to avoid a deadlock against Málaga. It will be interesting then to see who starts this match as Los Blancos bid to continue their impressive form and remain atop the Liga BBVA table.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Managing Madrid Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Real Madrid news from Managing Madrid