Anfield

Next Game

Liverpool v B Dortmund

Sunday, 10 August 2014, 12:15

Friendly Match

Pellegrini: Merit for Malaga

Manuel Pellegrini believes Malaga more than merit a place in the Champions League quarter-finals as they prepare to take on Borussia Dortmund.

Last Updated: 02/04/13 at 19:30 Post Comment

Pellegrini: Proud of Malaga

Pellegrini: Proud of Malaga

Malaga have belied financial problems to stamp their mark on both the domestic league and Europe this season.

As well as reaching the last eight of the Champions League, Pellegrini's men are also in the hunt for a top-four finish in La Liga although UEFA have banned them from playing European football next season due to outstanding debts.

On Wednesday, they host Dortmund in the opening leg of their quarter-final tie and Pellegrini feels they can give the German champions a run for their money if they continue to play to their strengths.

"Of course there is a lot of satisfaction and happiness for what we have been doing in the Liga and the Champions League this season," he told reporters.

"Nobody gave us a chance at the start and yet the players have responded so well.

"We eliminated Porto and that represented a huge achievement for the side.

"The merits this season have been won out on the pitch.

"I am delighted to be playing Dortmund as creative as they are. The fans will see a great game.

"We will try to minimise their strengths while trying to play to ours. You never know what the result in football will be, we can't know exactly what will happen.

"What I do know is that it is so important to get a good result to take into the away leg."

Dortmund will be no pushovers, however, and have yet to be beaten in the Champions League this season.

While Malaga edged past Porto 2-1 in the last round, Jurgen Klopp's men were convincing 5-2 aggregate winners over Shakhtar Donetsk.

On-loan Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin is familiar with their opponents as a result of his time with Real Madrid, and believes it is anyone's tie.

"I played against Malaga four times last season in the league and in the cup and they made it hard for us," he said.

"They lost some big names over the summer but they have still had an outstanding season in the Champions League.

"They have nothing to lose. They can play more freely in the quarter-finals and that could be a problem for us.

"We must not allow them to get the ball moving. That is very important, otherwise we'll see how good their football can be. We have to be focused from the first minute.

"I'm looking forward to it. In the quarter-finals there are no favourites. Our slight advantage perhaps is that we will play at home in the second leg."

Mats Hummels (ankle) and Sebastian Kehl (ribs) remain sidelined for the visitors, but Marcel Schmelzer and Jakob Blaszczykowski have travelled to Spain despite being injury doubts.

Schmelzer broke his nose in the 2-1 win over Stuttgart at the weekend but is hoping to play with a facemask, while Blaszczykowski has been troubled by a groin problem.

Malaga are without forward Eliseu because of a knee injury.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Footer 365

Premier League: Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech doesn't want to be on the bench

Petr Cech has warned Jose Mourinho he does not want to be second-choice goalkeeper at Chelsea next season.

Transfer News: Sunderland striker Danny Graham expected to move on

Gus Poyet has confirmed that it is going to be 'very difficult' for Danny Graham to be part of his Sunderland squad.

Premier League: Ryan Giggs compares Louis van Gaal to Sir Alex Ferguson

Ryan Giggs has hailed Louis van Gaal's early impact and has acknowledged the similarities with Sir Alex Ferguson.

Mail Box

It Isn't Easy Supporting Spurs, You Know

We have a long mail about the travails of supporting Spurs, plus Friday thoughts on Marko Marin, marketing, victory v beauty, travelling and vanishing sprays...

Pre-Season Obviously Isn't Meaningless

The debate over the importance of pre-season continues, including a league table from last season for stats fans. Plus travelling to watch your team and Blackpool...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property