UEFA Champions League 2013: Breaking Down Wednesday's Quarterfinal Action

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIApril 2, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 16:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid CF looks on during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and RCD Mallorca at estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 16, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

After all the drama and talking points that emerged from UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, we look forward to Wednesday's quarterfinal action with eager anticipation.

For by the end of next week, two of these teams will be through to the semifinals of the most prestigious tournament in the world. Given how they play and who they draw in that round, they may even be in with a shot to make it all the way to Wembley Stadium and the Champions League final.

Some of the biggest names in world football will take center stage as they try to get their respective teams off to the dream quarterfinal start. Who will thrive and who will sputter in the Champions League this week, and which teams will be left celebrating at the end of it all?

Read on for a complete guide to Wednesday's quarterfinal action.


UEFA Champions League Schedule

Malaga vs. Borussia Dortmund—start time at 2:45 p.m. ET

Real Madrid vs. Galatasaray—start time at 2:45 p.m. ET


Live Stream and TV Information

Malaga vs. Borussia Dortmund

Fox Soccer Plus, SiriusXM FC, Fox Sports Net and MSG Plus will all provide coverage of this match throughout the United States (per Live Soccer TV).

Live streams are available via Fox Soccer2Go or Sky Sports' Events Centre.


Real Madrid vs. Galatasaray

Coverage of this game can be seen via Fox Soccer Channel, SiriusXM FC and FOX Deportes (per Live Soccer TV). Again, Fox Soccer2Go and Sky Sports' Events Centre will provide live streams of the game depending on your location around the world. 


Champions League Story so Far

Malaga vs. Borussia Dortmund

Both Malaga and Borussia Dortmund have had strong Champions League campaigns so far, with both finishing on top of their respective groups.

Malaga went undefeated in the group stage—albeit against a relatively weak group—whist Dortmund emerged on top from a group that contained three league champions in Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax.

Remarkably, they too did not suffer a single defeat—something they continued with their quarterfinal victory over Shakhtar Donetsk. Having drawn 2-2 away from home, the German champions scored a big 3-0 at home to win 5-2 on aggregate and move through to the final eight.

Malaga, on the other hand, were forced to come from behind against Porto, having lost the opening leg 1-0 away from home, winning 2-1 on aggregate.


Real Madrid vs. Galatasaray

Having been stunned by Borussia Dortmund in their two previous encounters, Real Madrid did what they needed to do against the remainder of their champion-based group and qualify through to the next round of competition—where they drew English heavyweights.

After drawing 1-1 at the Bernabeu in the opening leg, Madrid came from behind to win 3-2 on aggregate in controversial circumstances over a 10-man United outfit.

Galatasaray seemed unlikely to even progress out of their group, but thanks to three straight wins, the Turkish giants found themselves ahead of CFR Cluj and into the round of 16, where they drew a very difficult opponent in German side Schalke.

After drawing the opening leg 1-1, Galatasaray came from behind to win 4-3 on aggregate in an incredible upset and move through to the round of 16.


Biggest Players to Watch For

Robert Lewandowski, Borussia Dortmund

With a number of brilliant attacking options around him, Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski has quickly become one of the top strikers in world football, as he's shown again here.

The Polish international has netted five goals and two assists in the Champions League so far, but also has 20 goals and five assists to his name domestically in just 24 appearances. He has been in sensational form this year and will look to find good channels to attack against Malaga, who have been very strong defensively this year.

If he can do that, Dortmund will be very tough to stop.


Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid

Perhaps the biggest name to watch on Wednesday—if not the entire Champions League—is that of Cristiano Ronaldo, who will look to fire Madrid to the next round of action once more.

The Portuguese star was brilliant against his former club Manchester United—netted twice across both legs—and took his Champions League goal-scoring tally to eight goals and an assist in the process.

With 28 goals and five assists in just 26 domestic matches, Ronaldo has shown himself to again be an attacking beast this year, and if Galatasaray can't find a way to shut down the left-hand side of the field, he could well run riot on the night.


Burak Yilmaz, Galatasaray

Few had heard of Burak Yilmaz before the start of the Champions League this year, but with a blistering year to date, he's quickly gaining notoriety.

Yilmaz has netted eight goals in just seven Champions League appearances this year, and with good attacking options around him now in Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder, he could well continue that against a somewhat fragile Madrid defensive unit.

The striker also has 18 goals in 20 domestic matches this year—making him a very big goal-scoring threat to watch for the away side in this one.


Analysis and Predictions

Malaga vs. Borussia Dortmund

Malaga will be very tough to beat at home here, and given the dominance that Dortmund have shown in Germany this year, it's tough to see them being unhappy with anything other than a draw here.

The German champions will know that a result here (even if it is just a point) gives them a huge advantage for next week, and they'll no doubt set up strong across the back to ensure that Malaga's attack (which has struggled to score goals) doesn't fire in this one.

However, it is in Dortmund's nature to attack given the talent they have on hand, and so they should see several good opportunities fall their way on the night.

I think they'll grab the opening goal of the game just before half time, but Malaga will quickly counter that to send this game locked at 1-1 into the interval.

Dortmund will know that result is essentially a win for them and will likely defend that scoreline gallantly in the second half. And against a team whose attack hasn't been as dynamic as they would have liked this year, they'll be capable of hanging on here for the draw.

Final score: Malaga 1, Borussia Dortmund 1


Real Madrid vs. Galatasaray

Anyone who said that Real Madrid "lucked out" when they drew Galatasaray in the Champions League quarterfinals definitely wasn't aware of the Turkish giants' attacking strength and talent.

To score three goals on Schalke in Germany is a remarkable effort, and one that that will likely give them plenty of confidence as they play at the Bernabeu.

Madrid have shown weaknesses at the back this year, so expect the likes of Yilmaz and Sneijder to find themselves with good chances on the night. But against a dominant midfield that will look to control the entire game, those chances should be few and far between, as Madrid show just how dominant they can be at home in the Champions League.

If they can beat United in England, then they can beat Galatasaray at home, and they'll prove that with a string of second-half goals that all but end the Turkish club's Champions League dream in 2013.

Final score: Real Madrid 3, Galatasaray 0


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