When Real Madrid come to La Roselada on Sunday night there will be more than just pride at stake for Malaga, who seek 11th place in LaLiga and 600,000 euros in extra prize money.
On 46 points, Michel’s side are level with Valencia, who host Villarreal on the final day, and two points clear of a Celta Vigo side left with home games against Los Blancos and Real Sociedad.
Sealing that spot in the league will be a significant achievement for the Andalusians, who were slipping into a relegation battle when the former midfielder took over in the dugout, leading them to six wins in their last eight matches.
On this form, many Malaga supporters would rather the season not end this weekend, not least because of the uncertainty over the playing staff’s future.
Martin Demichelis and Duda are set to retire in the summer, departing along with the on-loan trio of Denys Boyko, Jose Rodriguez, and Real’s Diego Llorente.
Furthermore, veteran forward Charles is heading out the exit door after his contract expires while the star set of Sandro Ramirez, Ignacio Camacho and Pablo Fornals are all to attract big interest in the transfer window.
Taking home an extra 600,000 euros for finishing 11th would, therefore, be far more important to the Andalusians than any chance to get one over Barcelona.
Madrid have won six-straight games since their Nou Camp defeat, therefore keeping the title race in their own hands.
Barcelona have matched them every week with victories of their own, but Real’s relentless form means the Catalan club are now relying on Malaga to do them a favour on Sunday.
However, there is one result that gives Barca hope of their title rivals slipping up… their own defeat at Malaga on 8 April.
Neymar was sent off as a 2-0 defeat hampered Luis Enrique’s hopes of leaving the Nou Camp with another league title on his CV.
After beating Celta Vigo 4-1 on Wednesday, Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid side require just one point to clinch the title, but the French coach admits that they still have a very difficult task on their hands if they are to not throw away the trophy on the final day.
Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Toni Kroos closed out a comfortable win at Balaidos, but Michel’s in-form Malaga team could prove tough to defeat, with the new coach at La Rosaleda having his charges playing some scintillating football on home soil.
“The most difficult thing remains, although every day it is closer,” Zidane insisted post match.