Málaga vs. Real Madrid: Complete Preview, Start Time and Schedule

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IOctober 17, 2011

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 03:  Cristiano Ronaldo (L) of Real Madrid is fouled by Manu Torres of Malaga during the la Liga match between Real Madrid and Malaga at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 3, 2011 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Real Madrid is cruising through early La Liga action. They have won their last three La Liga matches by a combined score of 14-3.

This stretch came on the heels of a little slump. Madrid lost 1-0 to Levante and then had a draw with Racing Santander. I think it is safe to say they have rebounded from that slump.

Meanwhile, Málaga got off to a fantastic start as they did not suffer a defeat through their first six La Liga matches. They crashed back to earth their last time on the pitch, however, when they fell to Levante 3-0. 

This will be a huge test for Málaga.

Where: Estadio La Rosaleda in Málaga, Spain

When: Saturday, October 22 at 2:00 p.m. EST

Watch: Sky Sports 4, Sky Sports HD 4, Sport.TV2, SuperSport 7, SuperSport HD 2

Player to Watch for Málaga: Santi Cazorla.

This 26-year-old midfielder is the heart and soul of Málaga. He is also almost their entire offense. He has four La Liga goals this year. 

He's one of two players with more than just one goal, and he has almost half of his squad's nine goals.

Player to Watch for Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo is dynamic player, and he is in top form right now. He is capable of scoring almost every time he touches the ball, and when he isn't scoring he's usually putting his teammates in a position to score.

Key Matchup: Wilfredo Caballero vs. Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real Madrid figures to put plenty of stress on Málaga's defense. That translates into plenty of touches and shots for Ronaldo.

If Málaga is going to stay close, then Caballero is going to have to be on top of his game in the net for Málaga.

What They're Saying: Jose Mourinho and Real are having plenty of success this campaign. The same cannot be said for his former squad Interista. Here is Mourinho from goal.com on what those struggles mean to him:

"I don't like this run of results," he said according to La Gazzetta Dello Sport. "I am always behind my former team, my ex-players, my ex-president, and behind the coach. I remain optimistic. They could get one, two, three, four or five bad results, but I will continue to believe they will turn it around as early as the next game."

Mourinho also scuppered rumors of Marco Branca leaving his post as Inter sporting director to join him in Madrid.

"I know him very well, we're friends," Mourinho said. "We worked very well together at Inter and I like his way of doing things. He is a great professional, but it will not happen. We are so happy here [at Real Madrid]. Here we have people who have professional attributes similar to his. Not identical, but similar. People of great ability. We are super satisfied with what we have right now."

Score Prediction: Real Madrid 2, Málaga 0