Soccer Movie Score: four / 5
Malaga will be hosting the first leg of the quarter-final match between them and the German club Borussia Dortmund. However, it is the away team who are the favourites amongst the bookmakers ahead of the match. Even though Malaga has been extremely impressive in the Spanish league and in the European competitions, Dortmund have been able to get past a really difficult group stage in comprehensive manner. Dortmund were in the same group containing the Spanish, Dutch, and English champions. However, they have not only managed to progress into the last 16 stage, but they have been quite comfortable getting into the quarter-finals as well.
Due to the fact that Dortmund do not have to worry about the league anymore, they will be shifting their focus on the European competitions. This coupled with the fact that the second leg will be at Westfalenstadion makes them the favourites to progress. Many betting companies have given odds of 13/10 for Dortmund beating Malaga in this away match. The home team, meanwhile, have been given odds of 5/2 for getting a victory. This is also the same odds for a draw between the two teams. Dortmund are a massive 20 points behind rivals Bayern Munich in the league table.
“It is the first time we have played against Malaga. We have seen and analysed a lot of their games. They are doing very well and are an experienced team with strong defensive and offensive systems. The tie is open, it is a great opportunity and we are happy to play Malaga. Many teams have been eliminated and Malaga are still in the competition. I think tomorrow we will see one of the best games of the competition. The most important game of the season is tomorrow’s game,” said the Dortmund manager ahead of the match.
After suffering back-to-back defeats into cup competitions, the Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert will be hoping that his team return to winning ways in order to at least avoid relegation this season in the Premier league. Aston Villa are currently just one place above the relegation zone after a poor run of form which has seen them not win a single match in the last five. They will have a great opportunity to get back to winning ways when they take on Newcastle United at Villa Park on Wednesday. Newcastle themselves come into the match on an equally poor run of form.
The manager Alan Pardew said that the club will not be able to avoid relegation if they continue in the same vein. Unlike Aston Villa, Pardew has had the luxury of spending money in the January transfer window. He has brought in no less than five players from the French league. Some of them are expected to make their debuts in the match, but it will be interesting to see if they gel together. Newcastle are priced at a healthy 9/5 to take all three points from the match, the possibility of a stalemate is given that 12/5 by several bookmakers.
“It’s a kind of restart for us because we are so much stronger in terms of depth and quality. We have got Yohan coming back, and he’s like a new player. Debuchy has come into the building and settled quickly, Sylvain Marveaux is playing well, and then the new boys on top of that. We have had a small squad since I have been here and now for the first time. We are up to full strength really and now it is about making sure we get the victories we need to build on this,” said Pardew ahead of the match.
Arsenal have not won any trophy for the last seven seasons and they will be looking to bring that trophy drought to an end starting with the FA Cup this season. After the exit in the league cup to Bradford city, the FA Cup remains one of the few opportunities left for Arsenal to win a trophy this season. They are already out of the running to win the league title due to the massive 16 point difference between them and the leaders Manchester United, while the presence of several high profile and powerful teams in the Champions League also rules them out for this trophy as well.
Hence, Arsenal are unlikely to rest players for the visit to Swansea in the third round of the FA Cup. Michael Laudrup’s men have been in excellent form in recent weeks, while they have taken points of the likes of Manchester United. Hence, they will be providing a formidable opposition in the hopes of Arsenal getting to the next round of the FA Cup. Despite Swansea’s good form, Arsenal have been rated as 11/10 by many bookies to reach the next round of the cup. Meanwhile, the home team are 5/2 to continue the good form in the FA Cup as well.
Theo Walcott has been in stunning form over the last few weeks for Arsenal. He has once again managed to establish himself as a first-team regular at the club after starting the first few weeks on the bench. He has been rated as 11/8 to score in the match. The Swansea striker Michu, who was signed for just £ 2 million in the summer, is currently second in the league goalscoring charts. Hence, he is rated at 13/2 to open the scoring in the match, while 9/4 for scoring anytime in the match.
The Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has said that he is expecting a very physical game from West Ham United when they take on the Londoners in the midweek action. He is also wary of the threat posed by the former Newcastle striker Andy Carroll, who is on a season-long loan deal from Liverpool. The England striker recently score his first goal in eight matches for West ham in the 3-1 defeat against Tottenham during the weekend. Hence, he is someone who can be dangerous against United according to Ferguson. He has also said that he was extremely surprised when Liverpool paid £ 35 million for the striker almost 2 years ago.
Back then, Andy Carroll was scoring a lot of goals for Newcastle, who had just come up to the Premier league. Hence, he was playing regularly for Newcastle, but has only about six months of regular Premier league football. In this situation, Liverpool should have done a lot of homework according to Ferguson. He has said that Manchester United have themselves wasted a lot of money on promising youngsters, but when it is such a huge amount, the club should have done enough homework on the player. Ferguson has said that Carroll has clearly struggled with this huge pricetag.
“He’d played not a lot of games for Newcastle and had to deal with a £35m transfer to a club like Liverpool. He was young and it was quite a big jump for him for that kind of money. We’ve gambled on young players in the past, a couple of million, something like that. But when you get to that level of £35m, you need to do a bit more homework and see how he is in the second season, maybe,” said Ferguson, who will have the chance to open a big lead in the table.