Champions League Group C preview: Malaga meet struggling Milan
By Football News
Malaga are in perfect shape to knock off AC Milan, although head coach Manuel Pellegrini is worried about the standard of his home ground.
Pellegrini's side have won both their matches in Champions League Group C and would strengthen their position as a genuine contender in Europe's premier club competition if they can overcome a stuttering Milan.
Malaga have not conceded in the Champions League this season but Pellegrini is more concerned by how his attackers will fare on their home pitch, the standard of which did not impress him during his team's 2-1 La Liga win over Real Valladolid on Saturday.
"The pitch is in a poor condition and we are concerned about it," Pellegrini told reporters.
"There was no mobility from our players in the middle of the pitch."
Regardless of the state of the pitch, Malaga will be well set up to overcome Milan due to their defence, which is the most miserly in La Liga.
Malaga have conceded just five goals in eight league matches this season to move to third in La Liga with South American duo Martin Demichelis and Weligton providing a solid foundation as the starting central defensive pairing.
The club from Spain's south coast have beaten both Zenit St Petersburg and Anderlecht 3-0 giving them plenty of confidence ahead of the clash with Milan.
Milan have started their Serie A campaign poorly with two wins from eight games and slumped to their fifth defeat of the season away to Lazio on Saturday but Massimiliano Allegri's team are still just two points behind Malaga in Group C, after a draw at home to Anderlecht and a win away against Zenit.
Allegri will be concerned by the form of Malaga's trio of attacking midfielders with Isco, Joaquin and Eliseu having provided 10 of the clubs 18 goals this season across all competitions.
In the other Group C encounter, Zenit will host Anderlecht with both sides desperately in need of points.
Anderlecht have just one point to sit third, while Zenit are on the bottom of the group after a pair of defeats.
Belgian club Anderlecht must find a way to score ahead of their trip to Russia having not hit the back of the net in the opening two group games.
Dieumerci Mbokani is the man most likely to score for Anderlecht as the Congolese striker has already notched 11 goals in 14 games this season.