Apr 14, 2016

    Reds have 74% chance to get to s-final: Statistics


    IT WAS perhaps inevitable that Juergen Klopp's Liverpool would produce their most Borussia Dortmund-like performance at the home of his former club.

    In last week's Europa League quarter-final first leg at the Westfalenstadion, he watched his Reds players press and harry like the Dortmund team he steered to the highest echelon of the European game.

    If historical precedents are to be believed, the 1-1 final score gives Liverpool a 74 per cent chance of progressing, and the nature of their display revealed the extent to which Klopp's methods have taken hold.

    "I'm pretty sure a lot of people thought we would lose 2-0, 3-0 or 4-0," said Klopp, whose side tackle Dortmund at Anfield in tonight's return leg.

    "But at some moments we had Dortmund, and around our goal we were brilliant."

    The sight of Klopp on the touchline - squawking at his players, pumping his fist in celebration of Divock Origi's first-half goal - will have been immediately familiar to Dortmund's fans, who granted him a touching send-off at the final whistle.

    So too the tactics employed by his team, whose aggressive, front-foot approach prevented the home side from settling into any kind of rhythm and whose counter-attacks kept the Dortmund rearguard on constant alert.

    While Dortmund have become more of a possession-based team under Klopp's successor, Thomas Tuchel, Liverpool are exhibiting the same underdog mentality upon which he built his success in the Ruhr valley.

    Klopp readily bestowed trust upon the players he inherited at Dortmund, with seven of the 18 players he called up for his first game featuring in the team who faced Bayern Munich in the Champions League final five years later.

    He seems similarly determined to extract every ounce of quality from the Liverpool players at his disposal.

    If Dortmund are to prove themselves worthy favourites for the trophy, Tuchel must find a way to withstand the red tide when the teams resume hostilities tonight.

    Dortmund's supporters will know exactly what is coming their way.