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Coutinho has been booked twice..

Five Liverpool players face bans if booked against Borussia Dortmund

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Liverpool's season is likely to be defined by what happens over the next eight days. In that time, they will face two legs against Borussia Dortmund in a Europa League quarter-final tie with a Premier League game against Stoke City sandwiched in between.

Not only will the game against Borussia Dortmund be the biggest of their season, but it will also represent an emotional return for manager Jurgen Klopp, who only brought an end to a successful stint at the Westfalenhallen last season.

With Klopp describing his former side as the strongest in the world in a recent interview, Liverpool will need to be at their very best to knock them out. They made mincemeat of Tottenham Hotspur in the last round and are rightly favourites to win the tournament.

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And Liverpool's task could be made even more difficult in the second leg, especially if five first-team players fail to restrain themselves in Thursday's game. Yes, five players could be suspended for the home leg if they pick up yellow cards.

Uefa hand one-game bans to players who accumulate three yellow cards over a tournament and five of Liverpool's stars sit precariously on two. Even if two of them get booked, it could leave Klopp with a serious headache, especially if they have to overturn a deficit at Anfield. Meanwhile, Dortmund's only suspension worry is midfielder Sven Bender.

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Here are the five players who are walking a tightrope:

Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool's Brazilian playmaker picked up a yellow card in each of the games against Manchester United in the last round and will have to keep the tackles to a minimum against Thomas Tuchel's men who would no doubt love to see him absent for the second leg.

Liverpool v Manchester City - Capital One Cup Final

Roberto Firmino

Arguably more important to Liverpool's chances than Coutinho, Roberto Firmino has more experience against Borussia Dortmund than any other player on Liverpool's team. Firmino, who is set to return from injury against Dortmund, picked up one card against Manchester United and another against Augsburg.

Liverpool v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Round of 16: First Leg

Dejan Lovren

Like him or loathe him, Dejan Lovren looks set to start in Thursday's tie and, as a centre-back, is probably most vulnerable to suspension. He got through the second leg against Manchester United on the tightrope but faces another tough task against arguably the best striker in Europe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

Alberto Moreno

The Spanish star has been revived under Klopp after looking dead in the water under Brendan Rodgers and is now the established left-back at Anfield. However, he too is one booking away from suspension after yellow cards against Manchester United and FC Sion.

FBL-EUR-C3-AUGSBURG-LIVERPOOL

Nathaniel Clyne

The former Southampton star has accumulated an impressive nine yellow cards in all competitions this season including five in the Premier League. One more against Dortmund will be his most significant yet.

Aston Villa v Liverpool - Premier League

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Topics:
Steven Gerrard
Europa League
Nathanial Clyne
Football
Liverpool
Philippe Coutinho
Borussia Dortmund

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