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Malaga primed for Dortmund battle

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09 Apr 2013 05:46:54

Malaga primed for Dortmund battle

Malaga defender Martin Demichelis says the Spaniards are primed to "battle" for their place in the Champions League semi-finals at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

Dortmund wasted a string of chances to claim a valuable away goal at Malaga when last Wednesday's quarter-final first-leg finished 0-0 after some heroics from the home side's Argentinian goalkeeper Willy.

The draw means there is all to play for at Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park stadium, but Malaga have both Brazilian captain Weligton and midfielder Manuel Iturra suspended for the return leg.

Malaga have had a testing few days after losing 4-2 at Real Sociedad in the Spanish league on Saturday, when their plane was hit by lightning three times en route to San Sebastian.

Coach Manuel Pellegrini flew back to his native Chile straight after the game following the death of his father and the 59-year-old faces a race against time to now reach Dortmund from South America.

Those problems aside, Argentina centre-back Demichelis insists Malaga can cause Dortmund problems and an early goal by the away team would throw a spanner in the Bundesliga side's plans.

"The tie is still totally open," said the 32-year-old former Bayern Munich defender.

"It'll be difficult in Dortmund, you always come under a great deal of pressure at their stadium, but it's eleven verses eleven and there are thousands of examples in this competition to say we can go to Dortmund and score.

"We've done it at the San Siro, we did so in Russia and I see no reason why we shouldn't do so again in Germany.

"They are a dangerous, high-quality side, but our squad is full of real men.

"We'll take the battle to them over there.

"We'll show intensity and belief - and have a go at making the last four."

In preparation, Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp made seven changes to his team for Saturday's visit of Bundesliga strugglers Augsburg, but the hosts had to come from behind to seal a 4-2 win.

Goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller, striker Robert Lewandowski, captain Sebastian Kehl and star attacking duo Mario Goetze and Marco Reus were all left out of the starting line-up.

After Augsburg went ahead with two goals in 80 seconds just before the half-time break, coach Jurgen Klopp responded by bringing on Lewandowski and Goetze early in the second half.

The changes had an immediate impact, as Lewandowski set up the Julian Schieber's equaliser, then netted in the 92nd minute to extend the club record of having scored in his last 10 league games.

"Between two not so unimportant games in the Champions League it is important to show that we play football to win. The team passed a test of character," said Klopp.

With Germany star Goetze having missed two clear chances to score in Malaga, Dortmund will be looking to score early having won all of their Champions League games at home so far this season.

"A 0-0 draw is a dangerous result, but we also showed that we are capable of beating Malaga," said captain Kehl, who made a brief appearance off the bench against Augsburg.

"At home we now have every chance to reach the next round. I´m very, very optimistic.

"Malaga will be very compact in defence, and wait for a chance to hit on the counter.

"I'm sure it's not going to be a much different game than the first leg, though I hope we will score a goal."


AFP

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