Jurgen Klopp is sure to be emotional as he returns to Signal Iduna Park with his Liverpool side for the first time since leaving Borussia Dortmund 11 months ago.
Klopp had a successful seven years – including leading the Bundesliga side to consecutive league titles and a UEFA Champions League final – before departing last term.
Since taking over from Brendan Rodgers in October, the German boss has led the Reds to ninth in the Premier League and the Europa League quarter-finals. Now he is looking to knock out his former club – a team still close to his heart – in his side’s last chance of picking up a trophy this season.
The Reds go into the game off the back of a 1-1 draw at Anfield with Tottenham Hotspur, who were knocked out of the Europa League in the last round by Thomas Tuchel’s Dortmund.
Liverpool looked sharp and dangerous going forward against the title-chasing Spurs and their goalscorer on Saturday, Philippe Coutinho, will need to be in similar form if the Merseyside club are to advance over the two legs.
Meanwhile, Dortmund beat Werder Bremen 3-2 on Saturday to remain five points behind Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich.
The front three of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have been influential and full of goals all season, with the former Gabon being particularly prolific – scoring 36 times in all competitions – and the Reds defence will find it difficult to keep the 26-year-old quiet.
The cameras will be on Klopp for his return to the German club, but the Stuttgart-born boss will be hoping his players can do the talking on the pitch.
Klopp will be pleased to have Roberto Firmino available at Signal Iduna Park. The Brazilian sustained a hamstring injury against Manchester United in the last stage of the European competition, and the ex-Hoffenheim man has missed two Liverpool games and two internationals as a result.
Striker Christian Benteke, who has complained about his lack of game time recently, will miss out through a hamstring problem while Lucas Leiva is also unavailable with a thigh injury. Summer signings Danny Ings and Joe Gomez remain sidelined with long-term knee injuries.
Tuchel will be without central defender Neven Subotic for the rest of the season with an arm injury. Meanwhile, defenders Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Mats Hummels, as well as German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, returned to training on Tuesday and should feature.
League Position: Borussia Dortmund – 2nd (Bundesliga – 67 pts); Liverpool – 9th (Premier League – 45 pts)
Previous Meeting: Liverpool 2-0 Borussia Dortmund (Champions League – October 30, 2001)
Form: Borussia Dortmund – DWWWWW; Liverpool – WWWDLD
Key Men: Borussia Dortmund – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang; Liverpool – Philippe Coutinho
Shoot Says: Borussia Dortmund 2-1 Liverpool