If ever there was a football game that was bigger than the teams involved it will be the homecoming of the German maestro Jurgen Klopp.
At the end of the previous season, current Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp left Borussia Dortmund after a 7-year relationship and just and just 7 months in charge of his new club, Klopp will take on his previous team in the quarter final of the Europe League this week.
It will be a nostalgic affair at the Signal Iduna Park on Thursday as Klopp sets foot at the stadium he ruled for 7 years. It will be a high-intensity game with both clubs using a similar style of play but the yellow brigade will be expected to get the better of their previous manager because of their form coming into this game.
It will surely be a superb game and the best part is that at the end of the game, the tie will just be half done. Here is the preview of this game along with the team news, expected lineups, predictions and betting odds:
The 1st leg of the quarter-final of the Europe League between Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool will be played on Thursday the 7th of April at the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund. The kickoff is scheduled at 8:05 pm BST (12:35 am IST on Friday)
The home side are expected bring star defender Mats Hummels back into the starting line-up after he was rested for the weekend’s game. Neven Subotic is still out injured while Ilkay Gundogan is back in training but might not start on the night against Liverpool. Tuchel has no other injury problems going into Thursday’s tie.
Liverpool meanwhile are boosted by the return of in-form forward Roberto Firmino who missed that last two weeks through injury. However, Lucas Leiva and Christian Benteke are on their way back to full fitness but will not make this trip to Germany. Defender Mamadou Sakho was reportedly unfit for this game but no other news broke out meaning the French defender will start this game on Thursday.
Burki; Piszczek, Ginter, Hummels, Schmelzer; Weigl, Castro, Durm, Mkhitaryan, Reus; Aubameyang
Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Henderson, Can, Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino; Sturridge
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs Dejan Lovren:
The Gabon international has been in sensational form and will surely be up to the task against a Liverpool defense that has shown plenty of loopholes in recent games. Dejan Lovren, however, has been solid at the back recently and he will have to stay close to Aubameyang who can hurt the visitors every chance he gets in the final third. It will be an intriguing contest that can change the course of the game.
Phillipe Coutinho vs Mats Hummels:
The Liverpool attacker has found a goalscoring form recently and will be hoping to keep up his recent run in Germany this week. However, he will have to deal with the likes of Mats Hummels who has been outstanding for the Bundesliga outfit this season. Coutinho has the ability to make things happen but he will have to be at his best if Liverpool are to get anything from this game.
Jurgen Klopp took charge of 319 competitive games as Borussia Dortmund manager, winning 180 (56.4%).
At Signal Iduna Park, Klopp won 96 of his 155 competitive matches in charge of Dortmund (61.9%)
The Germans have won all four of their Europa League matches in the knockout stages so far this season; 2-0 and 1-0 versus FC Porto and 3-0 and 2-1 versus Tottenham Hotspur.
Liverpool has conceded just six goals in its last 12 Europa League matches.
This will be the 18th time that Liverpool has played a European away game in Germany (including East Germany) – the Reds only won two of their previous 17 trips (D9 L6).
Borussia Dortmund: 4/7
Liverpool have already travelled to Germany in their European campaign this season but this game will be a huge step up from Augsburg they faced last time around. They will be happy with a draw but Dortmund are in sizzling form and will go into the game as hot favorites to not only win this game but to knock the Reds out of the competition and go on to lift the Europa League.
Our Prediction: Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Liverpool