Liverpool and Dortmund provide Europa League draw razzmatazz
If Liverpool are crowned Europa League champions 2015/16 then they will have really earned it, as tournament favourites Borussia Dortmund followed Manchester United out the hat as quarter-final opponents.
Naturally Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund reunion will hog the headlines after he managed BVB for seven seasons, with Liverpool’s boss now charged with plotting his former club’s European downfall.
It wasn’t long ago that Klopp was leading Dortmund out at Wembley to contest the Champions League final, so emotional outpourings are guaranteed at Signal Iduna Park.
The fact that Liverpool have been given the home leg second could be a vital detail in the tie, though both made it through in the reverse order by forging big leads at home.
In three previous meetings in Europe it’s W D L for both clubs so history doesn’t look like it will play a huge part in the outcome.
Despite Liverpool ending United’s interests with a pair of highly-encouraging displays to reach the quarter finals, Dortmund’s 5-1 waltz past Tottenham on aggregate alludes to the difficulty of task that reaching the last four has now become.
Before Friday’s midday draw, the Bundesliga outfit were clear 13/8 market leaders to win the Europa League/Uefa Cup for the first time in their history.
Having plucked Dortmund out of that hat, the Premier League club have understandably drifted to 7/1, their opponents have moved out ever so slightly to 17/10 and Sevilla are 11/2 for a third successive title.
It’s fair to say the winner of Liverpool and Dortmund ought to have a big say on where this season’s trophy ends up.
Elsewhere, Portuguese representatives Braga face Shakhtar Donetsk, while Villarreal must fancy their chances of progression after drawing surprise inclusions Sparta Prague.
Villarreal have already accounted for Bayer Leverkusen over two legs and this kindly draw marks the Spanish side out as a very tantalising bet for glory, having started the day at 20s and subsequently shrunk to 11/2 joint second favourites.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.