The clash that everyone wanted to happen prior to the draw sees Jurgen Klopp face his former side as he looks to keep the dream of winning a trophy in his first season alive following the Merseyside club’s penalty heartbreak in the Capital One Cup Final against Manchester City. Klopp’s successor at Dortmund, Thomas Tuchel, has been very impressive in his first season in charge as his team only trail Bayern by five points and are also through to the semi-finals of the DFB Pokal.
Whilst they lost their last two group games when playing weakened teams as qualification was already secured, Dortmund have been emphatic in the knockout stages, winning all four legs of their ties with Porto and Spurs and are now as short as 2.65 to go all the way and lift the trophy. They won their home ties against Porto and Spurs by a 5-0 aggregate and also led at the break in all four knockout games, conceding only a late Spurs consolation goal at White Hart Lane. BVB have won 14 of 16 unbeaten games in all competitions since returning from the winter break and the only defeat they’ve suffered all season at the Westfalenstadion was in their final Europa League group stage game against PAOK. Indeed, in addition to beating Spurs and Porto at home in Europe, in the Bundesliga they’ve won all six of their home games against top-half sides below them and held Bayern to a goalless draw.
Coutinho’s brilliant equaliser at Old Trafford in the second leg of their last-16 tie meant that Liverpool maintained their unbeaten record in the Europa League following their very impressive performance in the 2-0 first leg win. As a result, Liverpool have made it to the quarter-finals in Europe for the first time since their 2009/10 Europa League campaign. Their away record in this competition since then is W4-D8-L7 with four of those draws coming this season as all five of their road games have had fewer than three goals and three had fewer than two. Since Klopp took over, Liverpool have fared pretty well when travelling to the top Premier League teams as they’ve beaten Chelsea and City while drawing at White Hart Lane, but lost at league leaders Leicester.
However, we have Dortmund ranked higher than any Premier League team at the moment as they’re up in 8th while Liverpool are down in 42nd. The record of teams ranked between 3rd and 13th when hosting sides between 37th and 47th in the Europa League since 2001/02 is W9-D1-L2 and we expect Dortmund to exert their dominance in this one and continue their excellent form this season, particularly at home. Since all four of their home wins against top-six Bundesliga sides this season were by more than one goal as indeed were their last three Europa League home wins, we’re backing Tuchel’s side to win convincingly in this one.
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