Borussia Dortmund will be strong favourites to triumph in this evening’s quarter-final second leg tie. Despite being held by Champions League debutants Malaga to a goalless draw at La Roselda last Wednesday, Dortmund’s imperious form on their own ground in European competition should ensure their progression to the final four. They have won every fixture they have played at Signal Iduna Park during this season’s Champions League campaign, a run that included victories over Spanish giants Real Madrid and English champions Manchester City in the so-called ‘group of death’.
Jurgen Klopp’s men, who came from behind to defeat FC Augsburg in the Bundesliga at the weekend, will have an extra incentive to win tonight after Bayern Munich re-claimed the title on Saturday with victory over Eintracht Frankfurt. Dortmund’s rather meek and passive surrender of their domestic crown has been a surprise to many, so they will be desperate to respond to that criticism and stake a real claim for European club football’s greatest prize. With many of Europe’s traditional powerhouses also casting interested glances at a number of Klopp’s most-prized personnel, success in this season’s competition may be hugely critical in convincing those players not to abandon the club.
For Malaga, tonight certainly represents a tall order but boss Manuel Pellegrini certainly won’t have given up hope of becoming the first manager to take two Champions League debutants to the tournament’s semi-finals after first achieving the feat with Villarreal in 2005/06. Despite boasting an impressive defensive record in this competition, it was only profligate finishing from Robert Lewandowski and company that prevented Malaga from suffering an emphatic loss in the first leg and they will certainly need to be defensively superior tonight if they are to stand any chance of upsetting the odds.
KICK-OFF: Tuesday, 7.45pm
Malaga 0 Borussia Dortmund 0, Champions League, knock-out phase, April 2013
Last weeks’ goalless draw between these two sides was the first time they have ever met in competitive action.
Along with Schalke 04, Dortmund and Malaga have both drawn four games in this year’s Champions League, more than any other club.
Six players have played a total of 810 minutes during this year’s Champions League, the most in the competition. Among those six is Dortmund defender Marcel Schmelzer.
Malaga midfielder Manuel Iturra has committed 22 fouls in the Champions League this year, more than any other player. Iturra is also tied with AC Milan’s Philippe Mexes for the most yellow cards with five.
Borussia Dortmund to win: 1.45
Malaga to win: 9.0
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1 at 7.45pm, highlights on ITV at 10.35pm.