Anfield return holds no fear for Borussia Dortmund against Liverpool


Borussia Dortmund have no qualms about coping with an electric Anfield atmosphere on Thursday when the German giants take on Liverpool in the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final.

Divock Origi’s away goal, later cancelled out by a Mats Hummels header in a 1-1 draw in Dortmund, put Liverpool in a favorable position as Jurgen Klopp made an emotional return to his former club.

However, Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel is confident his side can reach the last four despite Liverpool’s imposing home record against German opposition with the Reds unbeaten in 15 matches.

“We can score away goals too, and we can score more than one,” said Tuchel, whose team effectively surrendered any hopes of chasing down Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga after twice conceding the lead in Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Ruhr Valley rivals Schalke.

“We are not frightened. We have been to a lot of places and scored and won,” he added, with Dortmund unbeaten in 18 games since the turn of the year.

Liverpool midfielder James Milner though is counting on the Anfield faithful to spur on the home side as they continue their quest for a 12th European trophy, three of which have come in this competition.

“Any player wants to play in the big games and the best atmospheres. European nights at Anfield are definitely right up there with anywhere on the planet,” Milner told the club’s official website.

“That’s going to be massively important for us no matter what happens. Even if the worst happens and they get an early goal, (the fans) can roar us on to get back into the game.

“We managed to nullify their fans – which is a great atmosphere as well – and got a good result. Hopefully we can use our atmosphere.”

Liverpool will likely be without captain Jordan Henderson for the rest of the season after the England international injured his knee during the first leg at the Westfalenstadion.

– Holders on top –

Sevilla can move a step closer towards a third successive title when they host La Liga rivals Athletic Bilbao, with the holders leading 2-1 from the first leg.

Veteran striker Aritz Aduriz headed Athletic in front with his competition-leading ninth goal at San Mames, but goals from Timothee Kolodziejczak and Vicente Iborra put Sevilla in control after their first away win in Europe this season.

Four-time champions Sevilla are on a record run of 11 straight home victories in the Europa League, while Unai Emery’s men beat Athletic 2-0 when the sides met in the league in January.

Cedric Bakambu continued his excellent debut season with Villarreal, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win at home to Sparta Prague last week.

The Democratic Republic of Congo striker struck again in Sunday’s 2-0 victory over to Getafe to keep Villarreal on course for next season’s Champions League and the Spaniards will look to him once more to fire them into the semi-finals in the Czech Republic.

Shakhtar Donetsk, the 2009 UEFA Cup champions, are in the driving seat in their tie against 2011 runners-up Braga after a 2-1 victory in Portugal.

However, the Ukrainian outfit suffered a costly blow to their domestic title hopes at the weekend after conceding an injury-time equalizer in a 3-3 draw at Stal Dniprodzerzhynsk to fall five points behind leaders Dynamo Kiev.

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