UEFA Champions League 2013: Players Who Can Turn Ties Around in 2nd Leg
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With the UEFA Champions League back in action, several teams have a lot of work to do if they are to advance to the quarterfinals. These teams dug themselves an early hole by dropping the first leg, and as such must battle back to turn the tide in their respective ties.
For these teams, they'll require a little extra star power if they are to overcome the huge obstacle that stands before them. Here are some of those players who will need to step up.
As this year's most surprising Champions League story, Malaga have gotten themselves this far in their debut appearance in the competition. But down 1-0 to Portuguese giants Porto, they return home to La Rosaleda with work still to do.
Their biggest star in this tournament has been young Spanish playmaker Isco, who netted twice in the group stage against Zenit, but was well marshaled by the Porto defense last month. If Malaga are to overturn their deficit, they'll need another stellar performance by their budding star.
Sure, most of the attention in the Barcelona-Milan matchup will be centered on Lionel Messi. But with the Blaugrana down 2-0 after the disastrous trip to the San Siro, the Argentine will need a lot of help. Enter his magical partner-in-crime, Andres Iniesta.
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The World Cup hero was his side's best performer in the first leg. His exceptional control will be key in combating a tightly-packed Milan defense and midfield, while his passing range, quickness and eye for goal will be crucial to unlocking the Rossoneri fortress.
Facing the Paris Saint-Germain juggernaut at the Parc des Princes is a scary prospect for any team, especially when you're down 2-1 on aggregate like Valencia are. But with PSG lacking Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Jeremy Menez, there is perhaps a sign of hope.
Los Che's main man, striker Roberto Soldado, will lead the line in search of a big result. He will have to contend with the returning Thiago Silva in PSG's defense, however. He's netted four times in the Champions League so far, and will need to go above and beyond to salvage this tie.
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