Barcelona vs Malaga preview - Troubled times for Barca

Posted Saturday, January 25, 2014 by PA

Barcelona will bid to put a turbulent week behind them with victory over Malaga in the Primera Division on Sunday.

Attention will return to the pitch at the end of a week which has seen the resignation of president Sandro Rosell.

Rosell described the allegation that he misappropriated funds from the signing of striker Neymar as "unfair and reckless" as he announced his shock resignation.

He also revealed at a press conference that he and his family had been the victims of "threats and attacks" as he brought the curtain down on his three-and-a-half year reign as Barca chief.

During Rosell's presidency, Barca won two Primera Division titles, the Champions League, the Copa del Rey, the Club World Cup, the European Super Cup and three Spanish Supercopas.

Last year's title success was by 15 points - but things are tighter this time around.

Real Madrid will take over at the top with a home win over Granada on Saturday, meaning Barca - who have drawn their last two games - will need to see off Malaga to maintain the edge over Real and Atletico Madrid.

Carles Puyol is unlikely to figure for Gerardo Martino's men in Sunday's Nou Camp contest.

The veteran defender limped off during the Copa del Rey defeat of Levante with a leg injury. after clashing with opposing forward David Barral.

The club captain was substituted in the 4-1 success and club doctors have confirmed the bruising makes him a doubt for the Malaga contest.

However, considering the 35-year-old has started just three league matches this season, Puyol is unlikely to be risked. Javier Mascherano, who replaced Puyol at Levante, is expected to figure.

Martino may make further changes after rotating his squad for the cup clash - with Cristian Tello again hoping to figure.

Tello scored a hat-trick against Levante and Martino admitted: "He's been more explosive these last couple of weeks.

"This is great for Barca and also for him - he's gaining confidence."

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