Malaga host La Liga leaders Barcelona on Saturday, as the Blaugrana attempt to take a further step towards domestic glory.
It has been a disastrous season for the home team from southern Spain, and they are rooted to the bottom of the division, needing a miracle to survive down the home stretch.
Barca have an eight-point cushion at the summit. Atletico Madrid remain barely in touch, and the race could soon be over.
Date: Saturday, March 10
Time: 7:45 p.m. (GMT)/2:45 p.m. (ET)
TV: Sky Sports Football (UK), BeIN Sports (U.S.)
Coach Ernesto Valverde arrived at the Camp Nou after gaining a wealth of experience at several teams, and he immediately restored order for his new side.
Messi has 24 goals and 12 assists under Valverde in La Liga, and the Argentina legend has thrived in the box this term.
However, the club captain has played deeper at times and admitted he is comfortable with the latest tactics.
Speaking to Pepsi (h/t Sam Marsden of ESPN FC), Messi said:
"Yes, in the past year I have moved a bit deeper, getting to the goal from behind, unlike other years when I was more in the final third of the pitch.
"So it's true that I have moved a few metres back, but still with the [same] idea of getting in the area and trying to score goals."
Malaga lack firepower. They have scored only 16 goals during the La Liga campaign and shouldn't cause their illustrious opponents trouble on Saturday evening.
The Rosaleda Stadium hasn't been a fortress at all this season, and the home fans will be scared by the prospect of the Blaugrana rolling into town.
Malaga are eight points from safety. A victory against Barca would be the shock of the season, but the bottom side will hope their dream becomes a reality in Andalusia.