La Liga is finally set to get under-way after the strike action that saw the first weekend postponed finally came to an end. The opening set of fixtures will see a fascinating encounter when Malaga visit Sevilla at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.
It has been an interesting summer for Malaga fans, following their huge takeover by Sheikh Al Thani, a member of the Qatari Royal family. The new investment has see the arrivals of several top European stars, as Los Boquerones push for European qualification.
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When Manuel Pellegrini, the former Real Madrid coach, took over last season, the club were in the relegation zone, but he guided them to safety in La Liga. Since then he has overseen the arrivals of big name signings such as Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Martin Demichelis and Julio Baptista.
The fact that they club were even rumoured to be interested in signing Samuel Eto’o from Inter Milan was testament to how far they have come, and they new levels of ambition they are now showing.
On the two occasions that the sides met last season in the league, the meetings were close affairs, with Sevilla running out 2-1 winners in Malaga, before drawing 0-0 with them at home.
When they met in the Copa Del Rey, however, it was a much more exciting match, with Sevilla winning 5-3 at home, before thrashing Malaga 3-0 away.
But Malaga are a much different side now, and will surely fancy their chances of gaining revenge for the two cup defeats last campaign. With Van Nistelrooy leading the line, they will undoubtedly carry a significant goal threat.
Furthermore, they will be looking to show the world that they have arrived by taking the scalp of one of Spanish football’s big boys. It certainly will be a massive test of their Europa League qualification credentials.