Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund clash in the second-leg of their Europa League quarter-final at Anfield on Thursday in what is sure to be a mouthwatering match.
The two sides played out a 1-1 draw at the Westfalenstadion last week, leaving the tie finely poised.
Both Liverpool and Dortmund rung the changes in their respective league fixtures at the weekend, emphasising the fact that they are focusing on the Europa League clash this week.
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The Reds will be pleased with their away goal in Germany but Jurgen Klopp’s side may feel that they had enough chances to win the match. However, Dortmund are likely to be much improved from their disappointing display in front of their own fans.
With a semi-final at stake, the match is likely to be cagey.
With Liverpool playing at home, they will likely be a lot more attacking - giving the visitors a chance to catch them out.
Key to victory
And, former Dortmund star Steffen Freund believes that attacking early on is the key to qualification for the German club.
"A good start in the game would be very good," he said, per Sky Sports.
"Dortmund should attack very early in the first ten minutes. They should try to force Liverpool to make mistakes.”
Liverpool's weak links
Liverpool centre-backs Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho were immense in the first-leg, keeping Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - who has scored 36 goals in 41 matches this season - incredibly quiet.
However, Freund has identified the pair are Liverpool’s weakest players.
“The central defenders of the Reds are the weakest link - Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho. If they are under pressure, they make mistakes,” he claimed.
Before last week’s clash, the entire Signal Iduna Park Stadium was singing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and the atmosphere was electric throughout the 90 minutes. The same can be expected on Merseyside, with Anfield usually coming alive for a big European night.
Freund is well aware of this and has issued a warning to Dortmund.
"Just don't be intimidated," he said.
"It's the last chance for Liverpool to make it in the Champions League next year. In the Premier League they won't qualify.
"It's a very special stadium. It's so tight, loud and emotional. But Dortmund should have got used to that kind of atmosphere from their own stadium. They have probably the best stadium in Europe."
Freund played for Dortmund for five seasons, winning two Bundesliga title before moving to England to join Tottenham where he is currently an international technical coordinator.
Who do you think will progress to the semi-finals of the Europa League: Liverpool or Borussia Dortmund? Let us know in the comments box below!
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