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Jul 20, 2019 at 1am UK at Signal Iduna Park
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Preview: Borussia Dortmund vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews the pre-season friendly between Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, including predictions, team news and head-to-head records.

Liverpool will be able to compare notes on narrowly finishing second when they continue their preparations for a new title tilt by taking on Bundesliga nearly-men Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.

Adding to the geographical confusion of English and German sides meeting in Indiana, the first game of the Reds' pre-season tour of the US takes place at the Notre Dame Stadium, home of the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish and boasting a capacity of around 80,000.

As well as providing plenty of space for Liverpool's legion of Stateside supporters, this is a friendly creating numerous familiar meetings between players and coaching staff who know each other well on both sides.


Jadon Sancho pictured for Borussia Dortmund in February 2019© Reuters

This is the latest reunification between Dortmund and Klopp. The coach led the German giants for seven memorable seasons, steering them to successive Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012.

Three members of Klopp's Bundesliga and DFB Cup double-winning team of 2011-12 - Mat Hummels, Mario Gotze and Lukasz Piszczek - remain in the current Dortmund squad.

Dortmund also reached the Champions League final under Klopp in 2013, only to be denied by an 89th-minute Arjen Robben goal in a 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich at Wembley.

Bayern also beat them to the Bundesliga last season, winning the trophy by two points in Dortmund's first season under Swiss coach Lucien Favre.

Dortmund departed last season's Champions League at the hands of English opponents, losing over two legs in the round of 16 to Tottenham, Liverpool's victims in the final.

In a season of extraordinary turnarounds they were unable to join the list of teams achieving unlikely comebacks, losing the return leg 1-0 in Germany following a 3-0 defeat at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Favre's side have already played a game in the US, beating the Seattle Sounders 3-1 with eye-catching goals from Marius Wolf, Paco Alcacer and Jadon Sancho.

That represented a sterner test than they received in their opening match of pre-season, when they destroyed German minnows Schweinberg 10-0.

Recent form: WW


Liverpool's James Milner celebrates scoring their first goal with Harry Wilson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on July 14, 2019© Reuters

This is the first of three ostensibly glamorous matches in the US for Liverpool, who will also take on Sevilla and Sporting in the space of less than a week.

The encounter with Sevilla takes place partly because Liverpool's Spanish opponents are part of the portfolio owned by Fenway Sports Group boss John Henry.

With their Premier League campaign looming, Jurgen Klopp is clearly more interested in thoroughly testing his players' fitness than the commercial details of the trip.

Virgil van Dijk, scorer of the opening goal in this fixture last season, has been pictured leading his teammates on runs in the intense heat of the university region to the South-East of Chicago.

The 37-degree temperatures are somewhat hotter than the Wirral and Yorkshire, where Liverpool opened their senior pre-season calendar with a 6-0 win at near-neighbours Tranmere Rovers and a 3-1 victory on a visit to Bradford City.

Klopp will be hoping this warm-up turns out more positively than their meeting with Dortmund last season, when Joel Matip had to be substituted after picking up an early knock and new Chelsea signing Christian Pulisic inspired Dortmund to earn a 3-1 comeback victory.

Pulisic scored the equaliser from the penalty spot and added a second on a day to forget for beleaguered Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius.

Still apparently haunted by his howler in the Champions League final the previous May, Karius had a shaky first half before being unable to prevent Dortmund from claiming a comfortable victory in the end. The German was duly loaned to Turkish side Besiktas.

Recent form: WW

Team News

Nathaniel Clyne celebrates with his teammates after giving Liverpool an early lead against Tranmere Rovers in their pre-season friendly on July 11, 2019© Reuters

Liverpool are missing several jewels from their attacking lineup. Roberto Firmino is excused duty after his Copa America win with Brazil, and Mo Salah is recovering from his AFCON travels with Egypt.

Sadio Mane is still in Cairo, where he is aiming to lift the trophy with Senegal on Friday, and Firmino's Brazil teammate Alisson Becker also has an extended break.

Midfielder Naby Keita captained Guinea's AFCON campaign but is now sidelined by injury, and Xherdan Shaqiri, who is familiar with Dortmund from his time at Bayern, is kept out by a calf tear sustained while with Switzerland.

James Milner, whose future had been shrouded in speculation as his contract dwindled at the end of last season, has been praised by Klopp in the build-up, and is likely to play an important part in guiding younger members of the squad through the tour.

Nineteen-year-old goalkeeper Dan Atherton and 17-year-old new signing Sepp van den Berg are among the travelling contingent.

Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho will hope to score for a second time in two games as he faces several of his fellow England squad members.

Manuel Akanji, Marcel Schmelzer, Achraf Hakimi, Mahmoud Dahoud and Sergio Gomez have not travelled with the squad.

New signings Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard, Hummels and Giovanni Reyna could feature for Favre, and captain Marco Reus is likely to lead his side after starting the Seattle game on the bench.

Dortmund possible starting lineup:
Burki; Piszczek, Toprak, Hummels, Schulz; Delaney, Witsel; Sancho, Reus, Hazard; Alcacer

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Mignolet; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, Wijnaldum; Wilson, Brewster, Lallana

Head To Head

Aside from that win for Dortmund last season, a look at the competitive fixtures between Liverpool and their next opponents shows neither side has much of a historical advantage going into this sparring session.

Dortmund haven't won against Liverpool in recent times - their first and only victory over the Reds was in 1966, when they won the Cup Winners' Cup final 2-1 at Hampden Park after extra time.

Klopp led Liverpool to a memorable 5-4 aggregate victory over his old club when they met in the Europa League quarter-finals in 2016. Divock Origi and Hummels were on the scoresheet in a seemingly routine 1-1 draw in Germany, but that set up a blockbuster second leg that Liverpool won with a last-gasp goal by Dejan Lovren.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, now both of Arsenal, put Dortmund 2-0 up after 10 minutes at Anfield, and Reus restored their two-goal cushion after Origi had replied just after half time. Philippe Coutinho and Mamadou Sakho then struck before Lovren's late decider.

Following a goalless draw in Dortmund, two goals from unlikely heroes secured a 2-0 win for Liverpool in the Champions League group stages in 2001 - Vladimir Smicer and Stephen Wright scoring in either half at Anfield.

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We say: Dortmund 2-1 Liverpool

Liverpool are yet to be tested in pre-season and appear to have undertaken what amounts to a series of gruelling fitness tests in their preparations so far.

With an extra week before their domestic season starts, Dortmund have already acclimatised to the conditions in the US and picked up a useful win in Seattle.

Expect both sides to make wholesale changes as the game goes on. Without their first-choice goalkeeper and several of their attacking threats, Liverpool are likely to be looking for minutes rather than goals.


Who will win this pre-season friendly between Dortmund and Liverpool?

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Jacob Bruun Larsen in action for Borussia Dortmund against Mainz 05 in April 2019
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