Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini insists that La Liga is now 'far more important' than the Champions League.
The Anchovies have made an excellent impression in their debut Champions League campaign, qualifying for the last 16 with two games to spare in midweek. Recently though they have taken their eye off the ball domestically, slipping down to fifth after their surprise defeat to Rayo Vallecano last weekend.
“Qualifying for the last 16 was a very important sporting and economic goal,” Pellegrini commented to assembled journalists. “But for us at this time the League is far more important than the Champions League.
“Losing hurts, and more so to do it at home against Rayo. It was a very poor game in all aspects. We were not the team that we have been, in terms of intensity, mindset or technique, so tomorrow we have the opportunity to rehabilitate ourselves in front of our fans and hopefully it's one we'll seize.”
The former Villarreal and Real Madrid trainer then gave his analysis of opponents Real Sociedad.
“They have a very good squad, but have had some bad luck. They have been working for several years on the same idea and are very clear.”
Los Boquerones injury problems are easing with the returns of Julio Baptista and Jeremy Toulalan.
“Toulalan is a player we really need. His return, and that of Baptista and [Nacho] Monreal are very important to us. With Baptista the priority is to have him as soon as possible. But he has been a year without playing.”