Malaga-Borussia Dortmund Preview: Dark horses clash at La Rosaleda
Both sides have made astonishing progress in Europe this season and meet one another hoping to take one step towards the semi-finals
By Enis Koylu
Gamez, Demichelis, Weligton, Antunes
Joaquin, Baptista, Isco
Piszczek, Subotic, Santana, Schmelzer
Blaszczykowski, Gotze, Reus
Malaga can be expected to name much the same team that played against Rayo Vallecano on Saturday. Vitorino Antunes will continue at left-back in the place of long-term injury victim, Eliseu, who is their only major absence.
They are expected to shuffle the pack up front, though. Joaquin is likely to push out to the right wing, with Julio Baptista dropping back into the No.10 role, with either Javier Saviola or Roque Santa Cruz replacing Pedro Morales in the XI.
Borussia Dortmund will have the fortune of being able to field Marcel Schmelzer, who broke his nose against Stuttgart on Saturday, but can wear a protective mask and play with the injury.
Mats Hummels has been training, but is unlikely to be risked at centre-back, with Felipe Santana set to continue. Ilkay Gundogan and Sven Bender should be given the nod in midfield over Sebastian Kehl and Nuri Sahin.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
Malaga have never faced German opposition in Europe before.
- Coach Manuel Pellegrini (pictured, right) also took Villarreal to the semi-finals of the Champions League in their debut campaign in the competition back in 2005-06.
- Martin Demichelis and Roque Santa Cruz both played for Dortmund's arch rivals Bayern Munich.
- Borussia Dortmund drew 2-2 on their last two trips to Spain, against Real Madrid this season and Malaga's Andalusian rivals Sevilla in December 2010.
- Jurgen Klopp's side are the only unbeaten team left in the Champions League this season, following Juventus' defeat to Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
Robert Lewandowski's winner against Stuttgart on Saturday was his ninth in his last nine Bundesliga games.
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Top 3 Predictions
Malaga 1-2 Borussia Dortmund
- 17.87 %
Malaga 2-1 Borussia Dortmund
- 15.57 %
Malaga 1-0 Borussia Dortmund
- 11.59 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Apr 9, 2013||Borussia Dortmund 3 - Malaga 2|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Apr 3, 2013||Malaga 0 - Borussia Dortmund 0|
|Dec 8, 2013||Malaga 3 - Osasuna 3||ESPC|
|Nov 29, 2013||Villarreal 1 - Malaga 1||LIGA|
|Nov 25, 2013||Malaga 1 - Athletic Bilbao 2||LIGA|
|Nov 8, 2013||Granada 3 - Malaga 1||LIGA|
|Nov 3, 2013||Malaga 3 - Betis 2||LIGA|
|9||Roque Santa Cruz||Striker|
The young playmaker has been his side's standout player all season, not least in the last round against Porto, when he scored a fantastic goal. The hosts will need his class and inspiration if they are to overcome BVB on Wednesday.
The Germany star has played in a variety of roles over the last couple of years, impressing equally in all of them. He has been his side's best player in recent weeks, and if they are to end the season with silverware, Gotze will be the key.
Malaga's run in the Champions League has been excellent this season, but Dortmund should have enough in their locker to be able to take a first-leg advantage back to Germany and progress to the next round of the competition.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed