Developed Dortmund To Defeat The Reds?
Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund
Liverpool’s final pre-season friendly gets underway at 12:15 on Sunday as the Reds host Jurgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund.
It’s been a mixed bag in pre-season for Liverpool so far with wins against Olympiakos, Milan and Man City (on penalties after a 2-2 draw) interspersed with defeats to Brondby, Roma and Manchester United. This after ending last season with a win, a draw and a defeat in their final three games of that agonisingly-close title challenge.
Raheem Sterling has scored twice in the last three pre-season matches – one against Manchester City and one against Roma – while Steven Gerrard scored Liverpool’s only goal, from the penalty spot, in a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United most recently.
Dortmund’s pre-season, for what it’s worth, has been much more consistent and includes wins against Rot-Weiss Essen, Chievo and Slask Wroclaw as well as a draw against Osnabruck and no defeats.
Jurgen Klopp’s side finished in second position in last season’s Bundesliga, some 19 points behind champions Bayern Munich, who they also lost to in the final of the German Cup.
Ciro Immobile has scored twice in pre-season since joining the club from Torino, while midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has scored five pre-season goals and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has scored four.
Both sides have lost their talisman in the summer, leaving a gaping hole for someone to fill. Liverpool have brought in Rickie Lambert, Emre Can, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovic, Dejan Lovren and Divock Origi in the summer, with more likely still to come.
Daniel Sturridge was sent home early from the recent US tour and although Brendan Rodgers is hopeful of having the England striker fit for the start of the new season, this game may come to soon.
Immobile has come in to replace the outgoing Robert Lewandowski at Dortmund and has already impressed in pre-season, while Aubameyang seems to be grasping the opportunity to step up to the plate with both hands.
Nuri Sahin has been ruled out for three weeks with tendonitis, Marco Reus is thought to be ahead of schedule in his recovery from an ankle injury, but is not yet match fit.
The two teams last met in the 2001/02 Champions League group stages; Liverpool won 2-0 at Anfield thanks to goals from Vladimir Smicer and Stephen Wright, with the game in Germany ending goalless.
As with any friendly it is advisable to approach the betting with some caution. However, the odds of 9/4 on a Dortmund win look to be particularly appealing, with the hosts way too short as an even money bet.
The Germans have had the better of pre-season results, but more importantly are a much more developed side and know exactly how they want to play the game,
…despite the departure of their star striker. The same cannot necessarily be said of Liverpool.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan has scored five goals from midfield in pre-season, and looks a very good bet at odds of 10/1 to break the deadlock. He can also be backed at odds of 7/2 to net anytime in the game.