At first glance and without any in-depth research it’s tempting to give Dortmund a free pass to the semi-finals however I’m sure Jurgen Klopp will have many a sleepless night waiting for this tie to come around.
Malaga have shown tremendous character not only in the Champions League but in their domestic form. This is a club that has been struggling under the weight of financial uncertainty and yet still fins the will to produce performances of verve and power.
The Spanish playmaker Isco is a wonderful talent who is not afraid to shoot from anywhere while Joaquin and Javier Saviola have been reborn under the careful management of Manuel Pellergrini who in my opinion is one of the world’s best man managers and tacticians. They’ll have to make the home leg count.
Winners in 1997, Dortmund have saved their best for the Champions League especially now that their Bundesliga crown has gone. In Robert Lewandoski they have one of Europe’s top strikers and with rumors persisting that the POle could be on his way this summer, he’ll want to leave the Westfallen on a high. Mario Gotze is also high on the wanted list of Europe’s elite and his guile, imagination and silky skills can open up any back line.
Klopp will be aware that maintaining the team shape throughout both legs will be the key to success.
Who wins this one…?
Viktoria Plzen set to sign midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz
PRAGUE (AP) Czech champion Viktoria Plzen is close to signing Austrian midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz.
Plzen says Ivanschitz agreed terms for a contract lasting 1 + seasons and will sign it when the team returns from a training camp in Spain. Ivanschitz has already joined the squad at the Oliva Nova resort, the club says.
Ivanschitz helped the Seattle Sounders win their first MLS Cup in December.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney says he raised 1.2 million pounds ($1.5 million) from a friendly game against former club Everton last year.
That represents the profits, after operational costs, from August’s sellout match at Old Trafford and goes toward the Wayne Rooney Foundation’s target of raising 5 million pounds for children’s charities.
Rooney said: “I’d like to thank all the fans who came to the testimonial and made it such a special night. They’ve raised a huge amount of money for children who are disadvantaged and it will make a real difference to their lives.”
Rooney is one goal from breaking Manchester United’s scoring record, with the striker currently tied with Bobby Charlton on 249 goals.
Rooney joined United from Everton in 2004.
WATCH: Lewandowski’s juggling stoppage time winner
It was the league’s first match following the winter/holiday break, giving Bayern a cushion before RB Leipzig takes the pitch against Eintracht Frankfurt in a Top Five tilt on Saturday.
Lewandowski moves closer to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the goal scoring chart. His 13th and 14th goals have him two back of Borussia Dortmund’s striker, as Lewandowski pursues a third Golden Boot in four seasons.
Full Weekend Schedule Freiburg 1-2 Bayern Munich — Friday
Augsburg vs. Hoffenheim — Saturday
Schalke vs. Ingolstadt — Saturday
Darmstadt vs. Borussia Monchengladbach — Saturday
Werder Bremen vs. Borussia Dortmund — Saturday
Wolfsburg vs. Hamburger SV — Saturday
RB Leipzig vs. Eintracht Frankfurt — Saturday
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Hertha Berlin — Sunday
Mainz vs. Koln — Sunday