Liverpool fly to Germany on Wednesday ahead of the Europa League quarter-final first-leg against Borussia Dortmund.
The much anticipated game sees Jurgen Klopp return to the club he made his name as one of Europe’s top managers, less than a year after he left the club he spent seven years with, taking them to two league titles.
Klopp is idolised in Dortmund, and indeed Germany, as explained by the Daily Mail‘s Dominc King:
“It is impossible to escape his return. In the Borussia Dortmund club shop, opposite the main train station, the window displays screams that Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool are coming to town.
“There are also Liverpool baseball caps, pint glasses and key rings adorned with the Liver Bird. It’s even possible to buy a build-it-yourself replica of Anfield.”
Late last year it was reported how Klopp’s appointment at Anfield had seen a rise in German fans arriving in Merseyside.
The charismatic Klopp still appeals to those who remember what he did for Dortmund – and that’s not just the fans.
“I’m really curious to see what reception he will get,” defender Marcel Schmelzer told King.
“It’s really important we free ourselves from the emotion that was left behind. He put a lot of effort into creating young talents and the players here are thankful for what he did for us.
“I could have lived without this game but that is the draw and I am ok with it.”
Thursday’s game is sure to be quite the occasion at the Westfalenstadion, with 65,000 in attendance (reduced from 80,000 for European games).
Klopp should have Roberto Firmino back from injury to boost his options in attack. The Reds’ boss will know the importance of an away goal before the return at Anfield seven days later.
- Westfalenstadion: Returning to scene of 2001 UEFA Cup triumph can inspire Reds
- QUIZ: The Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund Connection
- Dortmund: Pub and food guide