Zenit St Petersburg Coach Luciano Spalletti says he is surprised by the goal threat Malaga have presented this season.
Top of Group C after emphatic conquests of Zenit and Anderlecht, Champions League debutants Malaga take on Milan at La Rosaleda tonight with a chance to take a big step towards qualification for the second round.
Meanwhile Spalletti's Zenit, who are pointless as of yet, are fighting to salvage their campaign in the early kick-off against Anderlecht.
“I expected Malaga to be a good team, despite their President leaving this summer,” the former Roma boss told Sky Sport Italia earlier this afternoon.
“They replaced many of the departing players and have great quality in attack. However, I didn’t expect them to score so many goals, so it’s going to be tough for Milan.
“Isco is precise and talented with great technique. He isn’t particularly strong in the one-on-one, but does not offer reference points and knows how to play the ball.”
Spalletti also made a point of defending Milan's under-fire Coach Massimiliano Allegri, a man whose job he has been tipped to take.
“It’d be a shame for Massimiliano, who has done a good job since taking over and proved he can handle a big club.
“Unfortunately I get the feeling there are some people who make hay out of criticising Allegri.”