Malaga - Having prolonged the Bundesliga title race by a week with a 2-1 victory at VfB Stuttgart, Borussia Dortmund’s focus now turns to a UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie with Spanish surprise package Malaga CF and the prospect of a first final-four berth since 1998.

Dortmund flew out to Spain’s south coast on Tuesday, ahead of what is set to be their biggest game of the season so far. With the Bundesliga title beyond their grasp, and following Europe's elite competition offers Jürgen Klopp’s men their only chance of silverware this season. "It would be a huge mistake to underestimate Malaga," said the 45-year-old. "Tomorrow's match is real Champions League. I can only congratulate everyone who'll be in the stadium tomorrow."

Reus showing respect


For them to repeat their 1997 Champions League winning feat, Dortmund must overcome two more hurdles on the way to the Wembley final, and there will be no under-estimating the first at the Rosaleda on Wednesday. “Malaga have already knocked out clubs with great history, such as AC Milan, and they left FC Porto no chance in the last round,” said “We’ve definitely been warned.”

Reus is one of the stars of Dortmund’s exciting attacking side, but he is worried about a similar type of player among the Malaga ranks. “Isco is a gifted player,” added Reus in Spain’s AS sports daily. “He’s really amazing. [Coach Manuel] Pellegrini blends young, talented players with experienced, established professionals.”

Praise for Klopp


Reus’ own coach is building up a similar reputation, and the former Borussia Mönchengladbach forward believes his boss is forming a side which can have a major say in European football in years to come. “I don’t know if Klopp’s already one of the greats in European football, but his successes speak volumes,” said the 23-year-old. “What he asks of us most is that we enjoy our football, and that is probably the key to our success.”

That success has not gone unnoticed on the Iberian peninsula, where the all-conquering duopoly of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF leaves clubs like Malaga fighting for third or fourth in the table. “Dortmund have a great team,” said coach Pellegrini, who reached the semi-finals of the Champions League as coach of Villarreal in 2006. “They have five German international regulars and they have huge potential. They’re very creative in midfield, but I think their main strength is in attack.”

Minimising the threat


Pellegrini will therefore be focusing on keeping the ball away from Reus, and as much as possible. “We’ve got to try to minimise their strengths while trying to play to our own,” he continued. “You never know what the result will be in football, but what I do know is that it’s important to get a good result to take into the away leg with us. The fans are going to witness a great game.”

Possible line-ups:

Malaga: Willy - Jesus Gamez, Demichelis, Weligton, Antunes - Toulalan, Iturra - Joaquin, Isco, Julio Baptista - Saviola

Dortmund: Weidenfeller - Piszczek, Subotic, Felipe Santana, Schmelzer - Gündogan, Bender - Blaszczykowski, Götze, Reus - Lewandowski