Malaga vs Sevilla

May 22, 2015
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

The two La Liga high flyers have different ambitions ahead of the final day of the season, but the only way to achieve them is by winning at La Rosaleda. And while Malaga hope to pip Athletic to the final Europa League berth, Sevilla aim to leapfrog Valencia and secure Champions League qualification.

Disappointing finish

In all fairness, nobody really expected Malaga to challenge for European positions after they saw several star players leave once again, but los Boquerones exceeded all expectations to climb to seventh in the league standings, going into the final six games of the season three points clear of their rivals for the final Europa League berth. However, Javi Gracia’s charges were unable to recover from the dismal run of results that had started back in March, with away win over relegation strugglers Almeria their only triumph in the last ten league fixtures. Having suffered a 2-1 defeat to Villarreal last time out, Malaga go into the final match of the season two points behind Athletic Bilbao, who could have an easy job at home against indifferent Villarreal. Even so, los Boquerones will give their best to keep their European hopes alive by defeating Sevilla, but this is definitely not the right time to be facing one of Europe’s in-form sides. Malaga were beaten 2-0 in the reverse fixture at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan and I seriously doubt they will fare much better at their La Rosaleda.

Key midfielder Sergi Darder misses out through suspension, whereas defender Miguel Torres has fractured a bone in his hand, meaning he is unavailable as well.

Two crucial games await

Unai Emery and his players have worked really hard throughout the season, but despite everything they have achieved so far, the outcome of the entire campaign will be riding on the final two matches. While Sevilla have an opportunity to clinch Champions League qualification by defeating Malaga on Saturday, they will be vying Dnipro for the second successive Europa League trophy just four days later. And while having two extremely important games in such a short time might be a problem for some other sides, los Rojiblancos have proved time and again that they have big enough squad to cope with the busy schedule. There are no doubts that Unai Emery will make several changes to the side, but that is unlikely to be a problem given the quality of the back-ups. The likes of Bacca, Krychowiak and Carrico are almost certain to start having been rested in a win over Almeria, and there are absolutely no doubts that the team that start at La Rosaleda will be more than good enough to beat out-of-sorts Malaga. The team appear to have hit top form during the season finale and they can be trusted to wrap up the league campaign with a win.

Apart from long-term worries Nicolas Pareja and Sebastian Cristoforo, Unai Emery has no fresh injury worries to report.


Malaga are clearly far from the desired form and with key midfielder Sergi Darder missing, they will struggle to match high-flying Sevilla. The big strength in depth will allow Unai Emery to field a very strong side at La Rosaleda, meaning los Rojiblancos have got to be considered favourites to win.

Top pick: Away win   2.15 (23/20) @ Sportingbet

Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals   1.50 (1/2) @ BetVictor

Alternative pick 2: Bacca to score   2.20 (6/5) @ Coral

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