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Champions League: Expect Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund To Advance To Semifinals

Sometimes the draw gives you great matchups. Sometimes it dispenses duds. Here is a quick look at the second round of quarterfinal matches.

Real Madrid vs. Galatasaray: Real Madrid are clear favorites. Turkish clubs tend to be feisty at home. Real Madrid can alleviate that pressure playing the first leg at home. Galatsaray bought Wesley Sneijder and Didier Drogba. Real Madrid have Jose Mourinho, a coach well familiar with both players. Madrid is in great form in La Liga. They are confident after outlasting Manchester United in the Round of 16 and outplaying Barcelona in the last two clasicos. They have a 37-match unbeaten streak at home. They are also way more talented at just about every position. Galatasaray’s only option may be to attack. Real Madrid are the world’s best counterattacking team. Omens are not promising for the Turks. Since it would not be Real Madrid without some drama, Iker Casillas has been left out of the squad.

Borussia Dortmund vs. Malaga: Dortmund are clear favorites too. The German club is accomplished (coming off consecutive Bundesliga titles), ridiculous talented (Reus, Gotze, Lewandowski etc.) and well coached by one of Europe’s best managers (Jurgen Klopp). They do one thing that serves them particularly well here: score away goals. Dortmund have amassed 30 goals in 14 domestic away matches. They scored at least twice in three of their four Champions League away matches, including at Real Madrid. Malaga has done fantastically well to reach this stage, despite selling some of their best players and refusing to spend transfer funds for reinforcements. But it is hard to see the English expat favorites progressing further.

Messi Update: The injury that forced him to be subbed off against PSG in the first leg is “not serious.” He’s expected to return before the second leg on April 10.

[Photo via Getty]

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