Dortmund duo cleared to play in Champions League second leg against Malaga
Germans prepared for major battle with Spaniards
Dortmund (yellow and black) played out a stalemate with Malaga in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final in Spain. Photograph: Reuters
Borussia Dortmund central defender Mats Hummels and midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski have been cleared to play in their Champions League quarter-final return leg against Malaga tonight, said coach Juergen Klopp.
Hummels, out since March with an ankle injury, and Blaszczykowski, back after a groin problem, had missed the first leg 0-0 draw in Spain.
“At the moment it looks good for all of them and they are all with the team in the hotel,” said Klopp, adding that Marco Reus and keeper Roman Weidenfeller had also overcome minor knocks.
It is unlikely, though, that Hummels or Blaszczykowski will start, given their lack of match practice.
The Germans are undefeated so far this season but are aware of a major battle ahead, said Klopp.
Malaga have reached the last eight in their debut season.
“No one in our team has been in a Champions League quarter-final and we want to continue in the competition,” said defender Marcel Schmelzer.
Malaga were hit by lightning and the death of coach Manuel Pellegrini’s father as they prepared for the second leg. The Spaniards slumped to a 4-2 defeat at Real Sociedad in La Liga on Saturday, with Pellegrini returning to Chile immediately after the game for the funeral. Malaga said the coach intended to travel to Germany today, a day later than his players.
The Spaniards also had to endure a nerve-wracking flight up to the Basque Country on Friday, when their aircraft was caught in a thunderstorm. Unable to land in San Sebastian and diverted to nearby Bilbao, the plane touched down after being struck three times by lightning and the team had to finish their journey by coach.