Liverpool could take a huge European scalp if they can finish off Dortmund on Thursday night.
Divock Origi netted what could prove a crucial away goal in the 1-1 draw at the Westfalenstadion and built on that by scoring a second half brace in the impressive 4-1 win against Stoke on Sunday, giving Klopp something of a selection dilemma ahead of this game as Sturrdige and Firmino are both also fit. Dortmund, meanwhile, were held to a 2-2 draw at Schalke but the fact that Aubameyang, Gundogan, Mkhitaryan and Reus were all left on the bench suggests that this tie is where Tuchel’s priorities lie.
Liverpool maintained their unbeaten Europa League record this season in Dortmund and also continued their ‘unders’ trend as 10 of their 11 games have now seen fewer than three goals, including five 1-1 draws. Their record at Anfield in this competition since 2009/10 is W13-D5-L1 and if we only focus on knockout games in that time it’s W9-D1-L0 as the Reds kept eight clean sheets in these matches. What’s more, since Klopp took over at Liverpool, he’s hosted each of the top-four and went unbeaten in these fixtures, beating Leicester and Man City while picking up draws against the North London clubs.
Dortmund remain in strong form since the winter break as they have a W14-D4-L0 record in all competitions but they have failed to keep a clean in their last five, having kept eight in nine prior to that, which will be a concern for Tuchel. Indeed, Dortmund have only managed one clean sheet in their five Europa League away games this term. Dortmund’s away record in European away knockout ties since 2012/13 is W3-D2-L3 as they conceded at least twice in five of these matches, though the majority were of course in the Champions League. More generally, Dortmund’s win at Spurs in the previous round went against a particularly poor trend for German sides in England. Since 1998/99 there have been 55 such trips in either the Europa or Champions Leagues and the English sides have gone W37-D10-L8 with half those German wins coming from Bayern.
The record of sides that picked up a score draw in the first away leg of Europa League quarter and semi-finals since 2003/04 is W6-D6-L1 and if we narrow this down to lower ranked sides that are playing at home in the second leg then it’s still an impressive W4-D4-L1. This, together with Liverpool’s excellent record at Anfield in this tournament, particularly in knockout games, means that we’re siding with Klopp to get one over on his former side.
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