After an impressive display at the Westfalenstadion, Liverpool take a slim away goal advantage back with them to Anfield against the Blacks and Yellows in the second leg of the Europa League quarterfinals. Last week, the two teams drew a tense game 1-1, a score-line most Liverpool fans would have taken eagerly beforehand but that by the end many felt didn’t do justice to just how well the Reds had played.
Dortmund have maintained a seasoned form in the knock stages of the competition and are in search of the first Semi-Final appearance since the 2001/2002. Dortmund are a tournament favorites are touted to go all way to the finals.
Meanwhile, the Merseysiders will be looking to continue proving the doubters wrong by ultimately knocking the continental giants out of Europe.
Despite resting many star names Liverpool were very impressive on the weekend, coming away 4-1 winners at home to Stoke. To show just how serious Borussia Dortmund are taking this competition, they also rested many stars during the weekend’s derby clash with Schalke, which resulted in a 2-2 draw.
Speaking ahead of the match, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: “Against a high quality team you certainly need to be brave. If you just try to defend then your chance becomes smaller and smaller and smaller, and so you have to have your own moments, and be brave to do that.
“Being brave is one of the most important things in football – and most certainly against Dortmund.”
Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel clearly sees the Europa League as his priority this season, with the 42-year-old surprisingly making eight alterations for the trip to rivals Schalke on Sunday.
And speaking ahead of the match, Tuchel said: “I don’t care too much about the result in the first leg. I don’t think it will be that decisive. We are here to attack, we are here to score goals, to take risks and to enjoy the game. We are not here to feel our boundaries. We are here to feel our potential.
“We are clear we will have to play our best but we feel ready for it. We don’t want to score one, we want two or even more. I am proud to be the coach in this situation
“We’re here to enjoy the great atmosphere at Anfield and approach the game with a relaxed mind and enjoy the game.”
Liverpool are currently unbeaten in all their 11 games in the Europa League. The Reds side also remain unbeaten in 3 games, scoring a total of 6 goals in all 3 games.
Dortmund on the other lost their last 2 games in the group stage, but have since then maintained a great run in the knock stage winning all 4 game on their way to the Quarter-Final.
Liverpool will be without the services of captain Jordan Henderson who is reported to have suffered a damage to a ligament in his knee. The English man joins the likes of Ings, Benteke and Gomez on Liverpool’s long term injury list.
Besides, the Reds boss is in a dilemma that surround his strikers, Divock Origi and Daniel Strurridge. Sturridge returned to the starting lineup against Stoke over the weekend and got himself a goal, but he was later upstaged by Origi once again as the Belgian came off the bench to score twice. Origi is currently being preffered after he score the first leg goal.
For BVB, Ikay Gundogan could be back for the Black and Yellows after a run-out against Schalke at the weekend. Their major injury problem is with Neven Subotic, who is expected to miss the rest of the season due to thrombosis.
Liverpool starting lineup:
Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Can, Lucas, Milner; Firmino, Origi, Coutinho
Dortmund starting lineup:
Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Bender, Hummels, Schmelzer; Weigl, Castro, Sahin, Mkhitaryan, Reus; Aubameyang