While the recent league form of Malaga has been quite disappointing, their Champions League performances at home should give them plenty of confidence in their quarterfinal clash against Dortmund, a team many feel that despite their lackluster season in their own local competition, are just as capable as the other usual favorites to win the bigger title this season.
Dortmund spoiled Bayern’s championship celebrations by beating Hamburg in their general rehearsal to the match that matters more to them this season. As we’ve seen all year, away or home doesn’t really matter to Jurgen Klopp and his team, who don’t really change too many things in their approach, regardless of the opposition. Minutes of full pitch pressing while relying on their strong defensive midfield and the ability of Sven Bender to not let anything go through.
Their performances against a very strong Shakhtar side were more proof of how much quality there is on this Dortmund side, with Robert Lewandowski proving time and time again that he is a world class striker, among the few still left in football, while Marco Reus continues to improve as a player in general but specifically a goal scorer.
Malaga, on the other hand, don’t have anything too impressive in the league recently to rely on, losing the fourth place that leads to the Champions League after a series of draws and losses in between their win over Porto. However, they have won their previous match against Rayo Vallecano, so not everything is bad, especially if you look at their ability and complete dominating in the 2-0 win over Porto in the knockout stage, getting a little bit of assistance from the referee and his cards.
While Isco, Julio Baptista and Joaquin are the key men in terms of creating goals and chances, it’ll be the work of Jeremy Toulalan that determines if they can overcome the firepower and quality Dortmund bring with them to the first leg.
Prediction – Malaga are a very good, very easy on the eyes side to see at home, playing at a very high pace which Dortmund will try to temper a bit. Still, the visitors have the ability and the poise to get a good result, like a draw with away goals, in what feels like Malaga’s last hoorah in the competition this season.