Anfield hosts what should be another electrifying European night on Thursday. Will Klopp and his Liverpool men take advantage of their away goal to beat Dortmund, who remain unbeaten this calendar year?
Last week at the Westfalenstadion we saw an admirable showcase from the Liverpool side, which held an in-form Dortmund side to a draw. The English side left Germany inches in front coming into their second clash for a place in the semi-finals. There have been a lot of comparisons between the two sides, people see a likeness in their passion, they share warcries in ‘You’ll never walk alone’ and both have a strong place in their hearts for Klopp (It’s not even been a full season for Liverpool but you already know). But what we really learned from their meet is a stern resolve to knock out their opponent lies in both teams, they know the winners here have a real chance to lift the Europa League trophy.
Divock Origi’s first half goal came as quite a shock for Tuchel’s men, but the most surprising element of Liverpool’s game was a magnificent defensive display in both Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho, the later being singled out for his dominance unsettling Reus, Aubameyang and the rest of Dortmund’s attacking players. Liverpool have shown they were able to play on Dortmund’s level, on par with their star players on such an occasion. This clearly is the cup final for Liverpool, Klopp will need to have the players pumped and ready for the Europa showdown. Will that be enough to keep their unbeaten record in European comps this season?
Dortmund and Liverpool showed signs of consideration for the European tie over the weekend. Tuchel rested eight significant members of the first team in their derby against Schalke which ended in a draw, ending any lasting hopes for a Bundesliga title. It is clear Tuchel has his sights set on the Europa trophy and has given his thoughts coming up to the game;
“We put ourselves under pressure, but a good kind of pressure…,” the coach said. “We don’t want to score one, but two, maybe more.”
It is plain to see that Dortmund will go on a full-scale attack from the kick off, and with Ilkay Gundogan back fit and healthy, the Dortmund coach will feel more comfortable in his side controlling the middle of the park, where the German can be a major impact in getting service to the attackers and making the team much more fluid.
There were changes made for the Reds’ recent game, with younger and fringe players given a chance so others could be rested. For Thursday evening, Emre Can will be available after not taking due to his domestic ban, and it’s been suggested that Joe Allen will take the spot of an injured Henderson, who is out for the rest of the season. The pair will have to be in sync and carry out their roles perfectly as ball retention and pressing will be the key to preventing much of Dortmund’s stunning displays of attack sequences.
Daniel Sturridge told LFCTV that the Liverpool men will embrace the occasion but won’t give too much respect to Dortmund and their star names. He insists that he have nothing fearful when placed with their opponent’s tops players, insisting it’s “not the name, it’s about how the player is performing, that’s what’s important.”
Jurgen Klopp has tried to play down the role his presence marks in ‘El Kloppico’, but the media have romanticised it anyway. The ‘homecoming’ aspect will probably be over and Dortmund will be serious now. However it will surely be a spectacle and should please the eyes of many fans, it should also grab the attention of neutrals. The fans will do as much to get on their sides back, home side fans have already taken to social media to urge each other to go the extra mile and show a more enthusiastic support for players getting into the stadium. The atmosphere is set to be immense and the tie should be sensational. I would place a bet in favour of Liverpool but I’m too biased (and hopeful), however, the
The atmosphere is set to be immense and the tie should be sensational. I would place a bet in favour of Liverpool but I’m too biased (and hopeful), however, the odds of both sides getting on the score sheet is 8/13. Why not check out all the game’s odds on Betfect or comment on what you think the outcome will be below!
(Pictures are taken from the Guardian, Skysports, and the Liverpool Echo)