MADRID (Sporting Alert) — The Champions League continues on Wednesday night with two more games in the quarter-finals with Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Malaga and Galatasaray all in action.
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At Santiago Bernabeu in Spain, Real Madrid will take on Galatasaray in what is expected to be a very tricky tie for the home side.
Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho will name his strong side for the game, which means Raphael Varane, who missed the 1-1 draw with Real Zaragoza in the league at the weekend, expected and ready to return.
The Spanish La Liga giants have been backed as the team to beat in this contest, but neither Mourinho or Varane are taking anything for granted.
“I don’t think that Galatasaray is afraid to play against us, they’re going to attack and make things difficult,” the defender said on www.realmadrid.com.
“If we play against a team that attacks, we’ll attack more. I don’t know if that’s good. At this stage we have to be focused during the entire match.
“They could make a dangerous play at any moment. We can’t overlook anything because they’re very quick.”
Mourinho echoed the same sentiments, dismissing his side being the favorites.
“There are no favourites in this phase,” the manager admits. “There are eight teams that have a history in this competition, and we have already passed one playoff.
“It will be a difficult game. Galatasaray has a coach with experience with games at this level. He will organize his team to defend, to work, to get a good outcome for them.
“He has players who have been on the best teams in the world: Arsenal, Chelsea, Inter de Milan, Juventus, Real Madrid… They are prepared to play a Champions round-of-eight match. He has three football players forward who don’t need any comment.”
The contest will also see Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder, who players who played for Jose Mourinho, going up against their former manager, while Burak Yilmaz and Cristiano Ronaldo, the two top scorers in the Champions League with eight, coming together for the first time in the competition.
The days second quarter-final, Malaga, with former Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini, take on an on form Borussia Dortmund at La Rosaleda.
Pellegrini has praised his team for looking past their financial problems to perform so well this season in both the Champions League and in La Liga.
“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,” Pellegrini said.
“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.”
Facing Dortmund will not be an easy task with the side blessed with a host of talents and being backed by several bookies and pundits to not only make the semi-finals, but to go all the way and win it all.
Marcel Schmelzer and Jakob Blaszczykowski are both with the side, despite injury concerns, but leading defender Mats Hummels (ankle) and Sebastian Kehl (ribs) are out.
Champions League Live TV Channel
2:45pm Málaga vs Borussia Dortmund – Sportsnet World, Dolce Sport 2, Fox Sports Net, Sky Sports 4/HD, Fox Soccer Plus, ESPN2 Australia, Setanta Sport Ireland, FoxSoccer2Go, SuperSport 4, SuperSport 5, Sky Sport 1 (Germany), TRK Ukraina Football, Sky Sport 3 (Italia).
2:45pm Real Madrid vs Galatasaray – Fox Soccer Channel, Al Jazeera Sports +3, Al Jazeera Sports +4, Al Jazeera Sports +5,Fox Deportes, Sky Sports 2/HD, ESPN Australia, Sportsnet One, TVA Sports, FoxSoccer2Go, Club RTL, SuperSport MaXimo, NTV+ Football, Dolce Sport.