On the eve of the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster, Liverpool welcome Thomas Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund to Anfield for the second leg of the Europa League quarter final, as Jurgen Klopp looks to honour the memory of those that fell victim to the disaster in ’89.
It was an emotional homecoming for Jurgen Klopp, with the German getting a resounding welcome from the Dortmund faithful, for whom he won many trophies and led the club to unprecedented success. After a spine-chilling rendition of ‘You’ll never Walk Alone’ by both sets of fans together, the niceties were put aside and the teams got down to business.
In the first leg at the Westfalenstadion, Liverpool produced a superb performance, quite unexpectedly. The Reds chose to defend in their own half for long periods of time before threatening on the counter-attack. The centre-back pairing of Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho nullified the threat of Aubameyang and Reus, and that counts as a major achievement in itself.
Dortmund did however, get through eventually, with the equaliser coming from Matt Hummels. The Germans will come into this tie after having rested key players in the derby against Schalke, and will look to take it up a notch after being held to a draw in front of their home fans.
Liverpool head into the game high on confidence after their 4-1 thrashing of Stoke City. They have lost only once in their last 6 games in all competitions and will go into this tie with the advantage of having an away goal.
Dortmund go into this tie on the back foot, having conceded a vital away goal against the Reds. Dortmund have drawn twice in their last 7 games in all competitions, going on to win the rest. The Germans drew 2-2 with Schalke in the Ruhr Derby at the weekend, as they chose to focus on Thursday’s tie at Anfield by resting key players.
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will be out with a knee injury. Emre Can is back from suspension. Philippe Coutinho is available for recall.
Possible Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Mignolet, Moreno, Lovren, Sakho, Clyne; Can, Milner; Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino, Origi
Neven Subotic is out of contention. After resting a number of key players against Schalke, Thomas Tuchel will have a squad at full strength to pick from.
Possible Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Weidenfeller; Bender, Hummels, Piszczek, Schmelzer; Castro, Gundogan; Reus, Kagawa, Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang
- Liverpool have progressed from 11 of their last 12 European ties in which they’ve drawn the first leg away from home.
- Dortmund have been eliminated on five of the six occasions they’ve drawn the first leg of a European tie at home.
- The Reds have never lost at home to German opposition in European competition, conceding just one goal in those 13 games.
- The German side have lost just one of their last four away games against English opposition, though they lost on their only previous visit to Anfield.
- Jurgen Klopp is yet to lose a European tie in charge of Liverpool in 9 games.
Liverpool 2 – 1 Dortmund
Liverpool will hope to continue their momentum and will look to Divock Origi to step up yet again. With Sturridge reportedly fit, Jurgen Klopp has more options. History favours the Reds at home in European competition, but Dortmund have a side ready and well equipped to change that. But few visitors have tasted victory at Anfield around the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, and this will serve as added motivation for the Liverpool players.
Odds (Paddy Power)
- Liverpool Win: 15/8
- Draw: 12/5
- Dortmund win: 11/8