Football

Borussia Dortmund vs Malaga: Match Preview

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Neither side could break through in the first leg (©GettyImages)
Neither side could break through in the first leg (©GettyImages).

Malaga and Borussia Dortmund played out a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their quarter-final clash.

Jurgen Klopp's side will be kicking themselves for not taking their chances after they dominated for large periods. Malaga were resilient and did well to maintain a clean sheet, but they will have to be at their absolute best if they are to progress.

Borussia Dortmund

Having ruthlessly dispatched Shakhtar Donetsk in the round of 16, one suspected that Malaga would be in for a similar hammering by the former Bundesliga champions. Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski and Marco Reus were constant thorns in the Malaga defence but poor finishing cost them a chance to get a precious away goal and it could be telling when hostilities resume at the Signul Iduna Park. 

With the Bundesliga of very little importance, as the title has already gone to Bayern Munich and a top four position is almost clinched, Dortmund can throw all their eggs into this basket.

Being the only undefeated team in the Champions League this season, they will fancy their chances against a Malaga side lacking European experience, but given their inability to grab an away goal, they will have to tread with caution as Dortmund must win while Malaga need only a scoring draw to advance.

Malaga

The feel good story of this season's edition of the Champions League, the Andalusian club have made huge strides in their maiden campaign. 

Manuel Pellegrini's men will feel that a 0-0 stalemate is a more than acceptable result that could be the launching pad for progression into the last four. 

Although they were largely outplayed by their German opponents and had more than their fair share of luck in keeping them out, they will be encouraged by the fact that they were able to achieve what they had control of, and that is keeping a clean sheet and not conceding.

In a game that afforded them few clear cut chances to score, Malaga's defensive resilience and the heroics of goalkeeper Willy Caballaro is a sign that this well drilled and disciplined unit will be up for the fight in the second leg. 

Pellegrini is an excellent tactician and he will no be planning out a strategy for Malaga to absorb the inevitable pressure they will receive from Dortmund, but also find that away goal that could turn the tie on it's head. Malaga don't need to chase the game, they merely need a scoring draw which is easier said than done but will simplify the game for them as they will be in no rush to find a goal unless they concede first. 

The solidity of the defence and compactness of the team in general will be crucial in keeping Dortmund out, where defensive structures need prioritisation where they can ill afford to be disjointed as a team as Dortmund attack from all directions.

Score prediction: 3 Dortmund Malaga 1


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Topics:
European News
Football
UEFA Champions League
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