Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund side might be having a disappointing domestic season but they travel to Spain as the 23/20 favourites to establish a first leg lead in their Champions League quarter-final against Malaga. Dortmund are unbeaten in this season’s Champions League and there is little shame in being light years behind a majestic Bayern Munich side in the Bundesliga.
Like Dortmund, Malaga have also been on a sensational run in Europe and have stuttered in La Liga. Indeed, they are locked in an intense battle to finish in a spot that would qualify them for next season’s competition (presuming they can also overturn a UEFA ban).
A first leg defeat in Porto in the last 16 saw Manuel Pellegrini’s men move into the quarter final in a less convincing style than Dortmund, and they are consequently as long as 23/10 to win the first leg. 23/10 is also the price about a draw on the night.
A hard-fought clash is likely – while both teams are very comfortable in possession, Malaga can count on one of Spain’s meanest defences. They have kept four clean sheets out of five home ties in the Champions League this season but I reckon the attacking guile of Dortmund can find a way through.
The Germans have smashed a decent nine goals in four Champions League away dates this season and possess the most accomplished goalscorer of the two sides in Robert Lewandowski.
The lanky Pole has fired five goals in this season’s competition and it is no surprise to see him 17/4 favourite to score first on Wednesday. He has after all fired as many goals in his domestic league, 20, as Malaga’s top three league scorers have mustered between them.
While Dortmund have what it takes to nick a vital first leg away win, one thing you have not been able to fault about Malaga this season is their spirit. Given that three of Dortmund’s four Champions League away matches have ended in score draws, I fancy the same at the Rosaleda and for them to finish the job in Dortmund.
Odds of 7/10 are available on both teams to score in tonight’s first leg, while Lewandowski to score first and the match to finish 1-1 is a long shot that can be backed at 25/1.