Udinese v Werder Bremen, UEFA Cup quarter-final second-leg, April 16, 2009
There is little doubt who was the star of the first leg, Diego had a terrific game, scoring two fine goals and placing himself firmly in the shop window for the summer transfer window, with Juventus the most likely team to secure the signature of the diminutive Brazilian.
Udinese, Italyâ€™s remaining representatives in European competition face a tough task against a free-scoring Werder Bremen side but they have been given a real chance thanks to the late strike by Fabio Quagliarella that ensured if they win 2-0 (11/1) they progress to the semi-finals and a clash with either Hamburg or Manchester City.
The Bianconeri claimed exactly the scoreline they need on Thursday as they beat Reggina 2-0 on Sunday and a number of players such as Quagliarella were rested for much of the game. Striker Antonio Floro Flores scored two late goals and he may have played himself into contention for a starting berth against the Germans.
Udinese have performed impressively this season in Europe, recording wins over the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Tottenham and in the last round the UEFA Cup holders Zenit St Petersburg. As the Italian side have already beaten a German team, Bremen are unlikely to be fazed by a trip to Italy having seen off AC Milan over two legs in February.
The Germans have a side packed with experience, including the likes of Tim Wiese, Torsten Frings and Claudio Pizarro. They also rarely fail to score having claimed eight in their last three games which included a 1-1 draw with Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.
Crucial to the outcome of this tie will be the fitness of Diego (8/1 to score the first goal), he missed the game at Leverkusen due to a thigh injury and with Bremen playing for little in the league they will surely play him even if he is half fit.
Of course, Udinese have their own match winners in Gokhan Inler (11/2 to score), Simone Pepe and Fabio Quagliarella and since they are also struggling in Serie A and with their domestic season all but over they will go hell for leather to claim a victory.
101gg predicts: Udinese 2 – Werder Bremen 2 (12/1)
Full match odds here.