ANDY SCHREUR - Thursday, December 20, 2012
Oguchi Onyewu and Málaga host Real Madrid and Carlos Bocanegra and Racing Santander travel to Guadalajara on Saturday in the last match for each in 2012.
Málaga - Real Madrid
Onyewu and Málaga face a tough test when they welcome Real Madrid to La Rosaleda on Saturday.
Real Madrid are coming into the match after a disappointing draw with Espanyol, which saw them fall 13 points behind Barcelona and four behind Madrid rivals Atlético. Málaga are five points behind Real Madrid and currently sit in fourth place alongside Real Betis. The Anchoives' last league match was a 2-0 win over Sevilla.
Málaga will be without Julio Baptista (foot) and Jeremy Toulalan (thigh) and regular starting central defender Weligton, who is serving a red card suspension for this match. It's unclear if Onyewu will start in place of Weligton or if Manager Manuel Pellegrini will go with Nacho Monreal, who returned from injury a few weeks ago. Onyewu scored the game tying goal earlie this week in Copa del Rey play against Eibar.
Real Madrid will be without defender's Albiol (ankle) and Marcelo (foot) and striker Gonzalo Higuaín, who is out with a hamstring injury.
Saturday's match is the last for both teams until after the holiday break when the Spanish league returns on January 5th.
Racing Santander - Guadalajara
Bocanegra and Racing Santander will travel south to take on Guadalajara in battle of two struggling teams.
Racing currently sit in last place in the Segunda División and are squarely in the relegation zone. Guadalajara are three points clear of relegation and are in 18th position.
The Highlander's have lost six straight and have only once out of their last thirteen. Guadalajara will be looking to keep that losing streak alive and add some much needed breathing room between them and the relegation zone.
Saturday's match will mark Bocanegra's second match back from injury and José Aurelio Gay's second match in charge of Racing. Gay will be looking for his first win with the club and was hired to save the season.
Racing will be without Jairo (red card suspension), Álex Goikoetxea (shoulder) and Gai Assulin (knee) on Saturday. Bocanegra has already been named in the 18 that will travel to Guadalajara. The hosts will be without French midfielder Mickael Gaffour, who received a red card last week and is suspended.