Barcelona vs. Malaga: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview
Despite the La Liga title in hand and the absence of an injured Lionel Messi, Saturday's showdown between Barcelona and Malaga is sure to be a must-watch match full of fireworks as the 2012-13 season draws to a close.
The Blaugrana enter the contest with a huge 15-point lead over rivals Real Madrid, while Malaga sit in sixth place some 40 points behind their opponent. Barca also boasts an insane plus-72 advantage in goal differential compared to Malaga's plus-six.
A win would make history for Barcelona, making them only the second team in La Liga history to notch a 100-point season. A victory Saturday would tie them with Real Madrid's 100 points and 32 wins from last season.
Barcelona may already have this season's title clinched, but with questions surrounding the return of many important players for next year, there's plenty to play for, as this will likely be the last home match in Camp Nou for some of these players.
It's sure to be a special day for Barcelona fans but also for La Liga fans all over the world as another epic season enters the history books. Let's take a look at everything you need to know for the showdown.
When: Saturday, June 1, at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
Watch: beIN Sport
Live Stream: beIN Sport
What's at Stake?
Any time you're chasing an all-time record or playing in a farewell match for a certain player, there's plenty to play for, despite what the standings say.
That's the situation that Barca are in, as they could become the second La Liga team to amass 100 points in a season by picking up three points Saturday. Just as well, they could give Abidal a moment he will never forget with the victory.
Malaga don't have that same type of motivation to play for, but they're surely aware of the momentum a win Saturday would cause for La Liga moving toward next season and beyond.
Barcelona Player to Watch: David Villa
Striker David Villa has long been the forgotten—or should we say neglected—son at Camp Nou, but that seems to change when he gets his opportunities.
That will be the case Saturday. No Messi often means Villa will get his shot, and he's usually good to deliver when he gets the start at striker.
Villa will be playing for much more than Barcelona come Saturday, though. His transfer stock has been in question for some time, and he can continue to play himself into a solid payday with a multi-goal game in Barca's final appearance of the season.
The 31-year-old Spaniard could very well be on his way to England, according to Scott Murray of The Guardian, so enjoy him in that blue shirt while you can.
Malaga Player to Watch: Isco
The 21-year-old has been all over transfer talk for some time, and it's to nobody's surprise, as the Spaniard has been tearing it up in this year's campaign with nine goals.
With the upcoming summer window, we could be seeing the last game Isco plays with Malaga, as he's been reportedly interested in following Malaga manager Manuel Pelligrini to Manchester City, according to Alex Kay of the Daily Mail.
Isco's supreme form has been on display all season, and another showing of it would only be more proof that he's capable of making the jump to an elite club before next season.
It's unclear how much can be expected of the 21-year-old and his level of development, but if he can excel against a world-class team like Barcelona, then count me in as one of those who believe he's capable of big things at the next level.
Biggest Storyline to Follow: Victor Valdes' Impending Departure
Barcelona fans finally found some clarity to the uncertain future of goalkeeper Victor Valdes on the eve of their final league game, as he stated that he'll leave Camp Nou when his contract expires in 2014, according to BBC Sport.
It's not uncommon for soccer players to spell out the end of their playing days with a certain club, but it will undoubtedly be an odd situation to follow throughout Valdes' final year with Barca.
Barcelona's brass and Tito Vilanova will be focused even more on finding the new-age goalkeeper for their organization now that Valdes' news has become official. It'll be interesting to see if they find someone this summer to play out the 2013-14 season or opt to see out Valdes' contract with continued playing time.
Will Barcelona win by more than two goals?
There's just way too much going for Barcelona in this match, and it goes way past the players' talent level.
Camp Nou will be rocking for Abidal's final match and a chance to make history, and they won't be denied as they close out one of the best La Liga seasons ever with a huge victory.
Barcelona 4, Malaga 1
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