Wicked competition ? hard opponent ? we are prepared
Tomorrow is the big day: The quarterfinal against Malaga is coming up and the goalless draw in the first leg leaves the semis in sight. Borussia were the stronger team in Spain but they did not manage to score the one goal it would have needed to win that game. Now we are facing the task to score at least once in 90 or maybe 120 minutes. Sounds not too hard? Well there is still the Spanish side to overcome and they will not go down easily.
In the pre-match press conference, BVB-coach Jürgen Klopp sounded confident but also warned the fans to keep their expectations on a realistic level: “We don’t rely on statistics. After the match at Malaga I heard too much negative comments about the result. If you play at Malaga, you can’t expect to win and take a great result home. This result leaves us all opportunities, but there is no guarantee to succeed. Wicked competition – hard opponent – we are prepared.”
And despite all preparation it could even happen that we get eliminated from this year’s competition having not lost a single game. Away goals count in Europe. Malaga have proven they are able to score away from their La Roselada stadium, scoring in every away match during the group stages, including three in Anderlecht and two in St.Petersburg. Handsome Demichelis was confident that Malaga can score in Dortmund, speaking during the press-conference on Monday. But the former Bayern defender, who looked stunning with his long hair, will most not likely be the one to open the scoring on Tuesday. And it is unclear if Malaga can do so. For over three years now, Demichelis’ teams have not scored against Borussia Dortmund.
Jürgen Klopp had some good news, on the players that were left out against Augsburg on Saturday: “All the injured players will join us at the hotel tonight. We still have a training session tomorrow, but so far everything looks positive.” If Mats Hummels will return after his injury is doubtfuls nonetheless. It might be too early for him to go into such an important match. And even if Felipe Santana looked a bit shaky at times in recent weeks he has proven an overall reliable replacement for our head of defence. Other than that we will most likely see our prime team. Kuba Blaszczykowski seems to be fit and he could make the difference with his runs on the right and his great cooperation with soulmate Lukasz Piszczek. One thing seems certain: Even if he made a great first impression against Augsburg, aspiring youngster Jonas Hofmann will only conquer a spot on the bench at most.
Also Australian glovesman Mitch Langerak will return to his usual seat, as the more experienced Roman Weidenfeller returns from his break he had to take because of back pain. But if Mitch would have to come in once more he might even be our lucky charm, as we have not lost an official match he played so far. But maybe we will draw that Joker only in the final at Wembley, like we did in the German Wembley at Berlin last year.
The Scottish lawyer Craig Thomson, 40, will be the referee at the Westfalenstadion tomorrow night. His appointment has won a lot of praise on Dortmund fanboards. Some fans claimed “Thomson is shite” and others added that every Scottish referee is “shite”. BVB fan legend Keith Richardson hoped: “Well, if Thomson is shite tomorrow night, let's hope he's shite in favor of the home team.” Something everyone else on the Planet Dortmund board could agree upon. Even Peter Hausmann, who had previously feared Thomson could be worse than Mike Dean, who of course, handed Marcel Schmelzer a more than questionable second booking during a Europa League match against Spanish outfit Sevilla. “You encouraged me for tomorrow,“ he wrote.
So, with a lot of courage and the dream of Wembley 2013 very much intact we will be waiting for kick off at 8.45 CET tomorrow night and for 90 minutes all that will matter to us is that game against Malaga. “Let’s make it our final,” Klopp said and hoped for three more finals after that. And so do we.
How they could play:
BVB: Weidenfeller – Piszczek, Subotic, Santana (Hummels), Schmelzer (with or without mask) – Gündogan, Bender (Kehl) – Großkreutz (Blaszczykowski), Götze, Reus – Lewandowski
Málaga C.F.: Caballero - Gamez, Demichelis, Lugano, Antunes - Toulalan, Camacho - Joaquin, Baptista, Isco – Saviola
Steph& Web, 08.03+1.2013