Liverpool vs Dortmund: Matchp preview, predicted lineups and latest on Roberto Firmino’s fitness test

Jurgen Klopp

Borussia Dortmund host Liverpool in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals on Thursday at Signal Iduna Park. Jürgen Klopp‘s return to his former club is sure to dominate the football headlines this week, with the Reds set for a huge two-legged Europa League quarter-final against the Bundesliga giants.

Klopp, a former manager at Dortmund, helped restore Dortmund as one of Germany’s best and biggest clubs, guided them to the Bundesliga title and a Champions League final and termed the attention he has received on his return to former club is indeed better that being in North Korea.

“A lot has been said but it is easy for me as I just have friends here,” said Klopp, who served as Dortmund coach for seven years. It’s better to be here than North Korea or something. I don’t think about my situation, not for one second.”

The Liverpool manager has already stated he that he sees Dortmund as the favorites to win the competition and he would have rather avoided them.

“We have looked at the way Dortmund play but my players haven’t travelled here without any hope we will get a result,” added the German. “If we are not good it will be easy for Dortmund but why should I think about this?”

Thomas Tuchel who is Klopp’s replacement at Dortmund has been good in his first season having guided Dortmund to a very respectable second place in Germany Bundesliga behind Bayern while they also qualified for German cup semifinals and now he will be hoping to get one over Klopp and qualify for Europa League semifinal.

Speaking ahead of the match against Liverpool, Tuchel advised his players to remain focus and destined for a win because Klopp will show no mercy.

From the moment the whistle goes Jurgen Klopp will want nothing else than a win. And we too,” said the 42-year-old.

Anything else but a warm welcome for Jurgen Klopp will be a surprise,” he added.  “We are now where we are because of our history with Jurgen.”

Dortmund will have their captain Mats Hummels back in the starting lineup alongside Lukas Piszczek, Ginter and Marcel Schmelzer in back four while Weigl, Castro and Erik Durm to start in midfield roles with Henrik Mkhitaryan, Marcus Reus and Aubameyang playing in attacking roles.

Liverpool on the other hand have been handed a major boost ahead of the clash after Roberto Firmino passed a fitness test. But the Brazilian might be benched while Coutinho, Lallana and James Milner to start behind Sturridge.

Christian Benteke will miss the tie and potentially the majority of the remainder of the season after damaging his knee ligaments on international duty. Lucas Laiva and Skrtel are doubtful and might not feature. Henderson and Can to play in central midfield roles.

Predicted Lineups:

Liverpool Starting XI: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Sakho, Moreno; Henderson, Can; Milner, Lallana, Coutinho; Sturridge.

Borussia Dortmund Starting XI: Weidenfeller; Piszczek, Bender, Hummels,Schmelzer; Castro, Weigl, Kagawa; Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang, Reus.