Malaga have stuck to a solid line-up as they host Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg at the Roselada in their first ever Champions League group stage match.
Malaga will have to do without influential French midfielder Jeremy Toulalan, who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
“Toulalan will be a big miss,” admitted Coach Manuel Pellegrini earlier this week, who today has otherwise selected an attack-minded team, in what looks like a 4-1-4-1 system supporting Javier Saviola in attack.
Meanwhile, Zenit are without Belgian new signing Axel Witsel, Italian international Domenico Criscito and midfielder Sergei Semak. None of the trio travelled to Spain, as Coach Luciano Spalletti explained: “They were not in the best condition, so they stayed at home.”
Malaga: Caballero; Gamez, Weligton, Demichelis, Monreal; Camacho; Joaquin, Isco, Portillo, Eliseu; Saviola
Zenit: Malafeev; Anyukov, Bruno Alves, Lombaerts, Lukovic; Shirokov; Zyryanov; Fayzulin, Denisov, Hulk; Kerzhakov