Borussia Dortmund (+140) at Liverpool (+175), Draw (+235)
Jürgen Klopp’s first visit to his old stadium in Dortmund went pretty well, all things considered. His Liverpool side managed a 1-1 draw with Borussia in the first leg of their Europa League quarterfinal. They now return home, needing only a scoreless draw in the second leg at Anfield today (3:05 PM Eastern) to advance to the final four.
Even though Divock Origi put Liverpool up 1-0 in the first half, a 1-1 draw was as much as Klopp could have hoped for at Signal-Iduna Park last week. (Mats Hummels equalized in the 48th minute.) The last two teams that visited Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League were outscored 5-0.
Not only did Liverpool manage the draw, but they scored an all-important away goal. Now, needing only a scoreless draw to advance, the Reds can recite the same script from the first leg: focus on solid defense and let their speedy forwards counterattack when and if the opportunity arises.
Dortmund will have a decidedly different tack, knowing they need at least a goal to move on. As manager Thomas Tuchel said in his pre-game press conference, “We are here to attack – we are here to score goals, to take the risks and to enjoy the game.”
For Dortmund, last week’s game was the first they didn’t manage to win in the knockout stage (4-0-0). They aren’t panicking, but did rest several key players during their Bundesliga matchup against Schalke on the weekend, ensuring everybody will be fresh for today’s game. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus, and İlkay Gündoğan all sat out against Schalke, and all three will need to be on form if Dortmund are going to leave England with a win.
Liverpool are in a great position to advance, but a goal by Dortmund will take the English side out of its comfort zone. I don’t see the Reds keeping a clean sheet, so I’ll take the visiting team to win and advance.
Pick: Borussia Dortmund (+140).
(Photo Credit: ShakeFrog (Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/].)
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