Borussia Dortmund will welcome Liverpool at Signal Iduna Park on Thursday for the first leg of the UEFA Europa League quarter-final. It will an emotional homecoming for the Liverpool manager as he will return to his previous club, but this time, he will be there to give his previous side a tough battle and will be hoping to qualify for the semifinals. Klopp’s return to the club will bring down some memories he had with the club where he won consecutive Bundesliga titles and also helped them to reach the Finals of 2013 Champions League.
It will be a clash where both the sides will be looking to cancel each other out but, besides that, the game will be more of a mental warfare. Borussia Dortmund eliminated Tottenham last time out which was a rather easy win where Thomas Tuchel’s men humiliated Tottenham completely and won by 5-1 on aggregate. On the other hand, Liverpool canceled Manchester United’s chances by beating them with 3 goals to 1 on aggregate. The Bundesliga side are in a great form with their unbeaten run stretching to 16 matches in all competition. The team is on fire and have one of the best attacks in Europe with the like of Pierre Aubameyang, Marco Reus and Mkhitaryan who can cut the comedy for Liverpool’s defence.
Liverpool are unbeaten in their 10 Europa League games in which they have won 4 and drawn 6. The team have managed to keep 4 clean sheets out of their last 5 games in the competition and have conceded just 5 goals in the competition so far.
Here is the predicted lineup for Liverpool that can face Dortmund in Germany-
Goalkeeper: Simon Mignolet-
The keeper has appeared in all the Europa league games for the club. Despite being criticized by the Club’s former player, he is still the first choice keeper for the team. Klopp has showed faith in him and can surely do better against Dortmund but have to tolerate so much of nuisance that will be caused by the Dortmund’s strikers. He has managed to keep 5 clean sheets this season in the competition and also averages at least 2 saves per game.
Defenders: Clyne, Sakho, Lovren, Moreno-
Liverpool holds a W16 D12 L6 record against German opponents in Europe and the back four will have to work tirelessly to keep their side in the game. Undoubtedly, Aubameyang will be the target man in the box, so, Lovren and Sakho will have to deal with some deadly balls, also, the fullbacks will be having a busy night to control Reus and Mkhitaryan. Moreno should improve his game as he is the player who is very easy to beat and for sure, Dortmund will be targeting his flank as their source of attack.
Midfield: Henderson, Can, Lallana, Coutinho, Milner-
Lallana can be deployed as an attacking midfielder behind the striker and can swap his position with Coutinho as the game goes on. With Coutinho and Milner on the flanks, they can from a severe headache for the Dortmund’s defence. Henderson can play as a central midfielder creating the attacks and supporting the back, whereas, Can can play as a holding defender. He showed his caliber in the game against Manchester United where he holds the line for this team and cancelled out many United’s attack.
With Ings and Benteke out on the bench and Firmino just returning from injury, Sturridge will surely be the one who will lead the attack. Divock Origi is an alternative for Klopp but the manager will be looking to play his senior players instead as the competition is the only possible source of winning a medal for the team. This player has to play a rigid game as Dortmund’s defence is considered as one of the best in Europe.