Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool fans appear to have a fantastic mutual respect.
It probably comes from the fact that they have plenty in common. They both have a large ‘Kop’ behind one of their goals, they both sing ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and they’ve both had Jurgen Klopp as manager.
But the bond between the two sets of fans will grow even stronger on Thursday. The Liverpool Echo have revealed that Dortmund are set to honour the victims of the Hillsborough disaster with an emotional tribute before the match.
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The club's 3,000 fans will hold up a mosaic in black and yellow reading: 96 to remember the victims that died in the 1989 tragedy.
Thursday’s match comes on the 27th anniversary of the fateful day.
It’s not the first time BVB has honoured the anniversary of Hillsborough. In 2014, 25 years on, Dortmund fans performed a special rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ at their Westfalenstadion.
Watch the video from that day here:
Those Dortmund fans that will be staying on Merseyside following Thursday's match have been invited to attend Friday’s memorial service - the final one that will be held at Anfield.
Liverpool fans will, as expected, also honour the Hillsborough victims on Thursday.
The Kop will hold up a mosaic with ’96’ on it alongside an eternal flame while there will be a minute silence before the game.
Last weeks, fans from both sides gathered in the city square to swap scarves and enjoy a beer or two and the same is likely to happen in Liverpool’s city centre tomorrow.
On the pitch
However, when the match starts, all pleasantries will be forgotten as both club’s fight for a place in the last-four of the Europa League.
According to the bookmakers, Dortmund are very slight favourites to progress - although there is very little between them. But Klopp’s side will be confident after their impressive showing in the first-leg. Liverpool managed to earn a 1-1 draw to give them a valuable away goal to bring back to Anfield.
While it’s nigh on impossible to call the outcome of the match, it’s guaranteed that the atmosphere inside the stadium is going to be incredible.
Liverpool are aiming to reach their first European semi-final since 2008 and realise that winning the Europa League poses as their best chance of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
On the anniversary of Hillsborough, it’s going to be a special occasion.
Who do you think will progress to the Europa League semi-final: Liverpool or Dortmund? Let us know in the comments box below!
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