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Málaga and Dortmund expect open encounter

Published: Tuesday 2 April 2013, 19.45CET
There was mutual praise between the coaches of Málaga CF and Borussia Dortmund ahead of their first leg, with Manuel Pellegrini predicting "a great game" at La Rosaleda.
by Alberto Infantes Sánchez
from La Rosaleda
Málaga and Dortmund expect open encounter
Málaga coach Manuel Pellegrini ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 2 April 2013, 19.45CET

Málaga and Dortmund expect open encounter

There was mutual praise between the coaches of Málaga CF and Borussia Dortmund ahead of their first leg, with Manuel Pellegrini predicting "a great game" at La Rosaleda.

The coaches of Málaga CF and Borussia Dortmund celebrated the achievements of their respective sides in reaching the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals – and each believes Wednesday's meeting in Spain will be an entertaining encounter. While Manuel Pellegrini wants Málaga to keep their hopes alive for next week's return trip to Germany, Jürgen Klopp is urging his charges to seize "a great opportunity".

Nobody gave us a chance at the start of this campaign, but the players have responded so well
Manuel Pellegrini
I think this will be one of the best matches in the competition. The most important game of the season is this one
Jürgen Klopp

Málaga
Manuel Pellegrini, coach
Nobody gave us a chance at the start of this campaign, but the players have responded so well. We eliminated Porto and that represented a huge achievement for the side. Any plaudits this season have been won out on the pitch. Both teams like to have the ball and are very powerful. I am delighted to be playing Dortmund, as creative as they are. The fans will see a great game.

Dortmund have a great side – they are current Bundesliga champions and have five players who start for the German national team. They have huge potential, are very creative in midfield, but I think their main strength is in attack. We will try to minimise their strengths while playing to ours.

What I do know is that it is so important to get a good result to take into the away leg. This tie will be played over 180 minutes and the first 90 will be played at home, where we have to neutralise their game and try to impose ours. However, the outcome will most likely be decided in Dortmund.

Weekend result
Saturday: Rayo Vallecano de Madrid 1-3 Málaga CF
(Piti 31pen; Weligton 21, Júlio Baptista 55, Morales 86)
Caballero; Jesús Gámez, Demichelis, Weligton, Antunes; Toulalan, Iturra, Joaquín (Piazón 77), Isco (Portillo 72), Morales; Baptista (Santa Cruz 67).

• Málaga ended a run of four Liga games without a win to move back into fifth place. Júlio Baptista scored his first goal in 546 days – since 1 October 2011 – having recently recovered from a long-term Achilles tendon injury.

Team news
Eliseu has been ruled out with a knee ligament injury but Diego Lugano (rested), Ignacio Camacho and Duda (both suspended) return after missing the weekend victory.

Dortmund
Jürgen Klopp, coach
We have seen and analysed a lot of Málaga games. They've been doing really well and are an experienced team with strong defensive and offensive systems. The tie is open, it's a great opportunity, and we are happy to play Málaga.

We've played well in this season's Champions League and we want to produce more good performances. We can't say we will be disappointed if Málaga beat us – the name of the opposition doesn't matter, because Málaga are a very good side and Manuel Pellegrini is an excellent coach. We are concentrated on this game.

We don't think about how young Isco [20] and Mario Götze [20] are. Isco is an excellent player, and both are really very good. The teams also have other good players but not as young as those two.

Many teams have been eliminated, and Málaga and ourselves are still involved. There will be good games in these quarter-finals but I think this will be one of the best matches in the competition. The most important game of the season is this one. We want to reach the semi-finals, so let's see what happens.

Weekend result
Saturday: VfB Stuttgart 1-2 Dortmund (Maxim 63; Piszczek 29, Lewandowski 82)
Weidenfeller; Grosskreutz, Subotić, Felipe Santana, Schmelzer (Piszczek 24); S Bender, Şahin; Götze (Schieber 83), Gündoğan (Leitner 60), Reus; Lewandowski.

• Robert Lewandowski has scored in his last nine Bundesliga outings – a record for a Dortmund player. He has netted 13 in his last 13 outings for the club, in addition to two in three Poland internationals during that spell.

Team news
Marcel Schmelzer could wear a face mask after breaking his nose in Stuttgart; Sebastian Kehl might also play having returned to the bench on Saturday after missing two Bundesliga games with a rib injury. Mats Hummels (ankle ligaments) definitely sits out the first leg while Jakub Błaszczykowski was absent at the weekend with a muscle strain suffered on national-team duty.

Match fact
• Should Málaga reach the semi-finals they will match the debut-season achievement of Pellegrini's Villarreal CF, who lost to Arsenal FC in the 2005/06 last four.

Last updated: 02/04/13 20.30CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000349/match=2009600/prematch/preview/index.html#malaga+dortmund+expect+open+encounter

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