Mark O’Haire’s Europa League Tips – Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund
Liverpool were delighted to depart Germany last week with a 1-1 draw, in theory putting the Reds in the driving seat in the tie with a precious away goal to their name.
Liverpool v Borussia Dortmund, Thursday 14 April 20.05, BT Sport Europe
It was a fascinating first leg in which the Merseysiders worked incredibly hard to stifle Dortmund. Jurgen Klopp’s charges didn’t just survive – they thrived in the Westfalenstadion and were full value for the score draw.
The tie is now finely balanced and although bookmakers still make the Bundesliga outfit favourites to qualify (7/10), history suggests Liverpool will be the side booking their place in the final four.
The Reds have progressed from 11 of their last 12 ties in which they’ve drawn the first fixture on their travels whilst Dortmund have been eliminated on five of the six occasions they’ve drawn the first leg on home soil.
Teams that have picked up score draws in the first leg of an away Europa League quarter or semi-final since 2003/04 boast a W6-D6-L1 record when returning home, whilst at Anfield the Merseysiders are unbeaten against German opposition in 13 (W10-D3-L0), shipping just a solitary goal.
Under Klopp’s charge, the hosts have W4-D5-L0 in continental ties this term and exceeded expectations when taking on their toughest tests; Liverpool have welcomed the Premier League’s top four under the German, beating Leicester and Man City while picking up draws against Arsenal and Spurs.
The Reds have W13-D5-L1 in Europa League outings at Anfield since 2009 but drill down into knockout matches and their record remains impeccably strong – W9-D1-L0 alongside eight clean sheets.
Last weekend’s 4-1 thumping of Stoke made it 21 league goals in seven games for Klopp’s charges with Divock Origi grabbing a double.
That is likely to cement his place in the starting XI here. Meanwhile, Joe Allen should take Jordan Henderson’s place in the midfield three.
Dortmund were reduced to just a few chances last Thursday but Liverpool have still leaked in 10 of their past 15 encounters, which does give the side an air of vulnerability. Should Die Schwarzgelben score a vital away goal, the momentum will swing back in the Bundesliga boys’ favour.
Still, 10 of Liverpool’s 11 Europa League outings this term have fallen below the 2.5 goals line – five of which ended 1-1 – so the prospects on a repeat scoreline this time around do seem stronger than the 6/1 quotes on offer.
Dortmund decided to rest Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan for Sunday’s 2-2 derby draw with Schalke as Thomas Tuchel prioritises European glory.
With Ilkay Gundogan also back in the fold, BVB travel with almost a fully fit squad.
The visitors are still unbeaten in 2016 (W14-D4-L0) and have fired blanks in only four of their 48 games this season. Since Christmas Die Schwarzgelben have already won away at Gladbach, Leverkusen, Porto and Spurs and no side has fired in more shots (196) in this competition this term.
However, Tuchel’s troops did struggle to exert their authority last week with Liverpool’s vigorous pressing game proving profitable for the Reds. Throw in BVB’s uninspiring road record in Europe and suddenly a semi-final spot begins to look within reach of the Reds.
Dortmund have W3-D2-L3 in away knockout games since 2012/13, shipping at least two goals in five of those eight encounters – the bulk of those fixtures came in the Champions League but even so, the Germans have failed to keep their sheets clean in five, as well as recording a solitary shutout in five Europa League away days.
This contest is likely to be played at a ferocious pace in front of a boisterous Anfield crowd. It’s without doubt the tie of the round and it could well go the distance so I’ll have a decent bite on the Both Teams To Score offer at 8/13. I’ll also have a nibble on the 1-1 (6/1) which would see all losing first/last/anytime scorer bets refunded as free bets. Add a quid on both Liverpool (28/1) and Dortmund (28/1) to win on penalties.
Both Teams To Score @ 8/13
1-1 correct score @ 6/1
Liverpool to win on penalties @ 28/1
Borussia Dortmund to win on penalties @ 28/1
*Prices correct at time of publication.