Friday, 18 March 2016

Klopp Heads Back to Dortmund

Jurgen Klopp has been handed a return to Borussia Dortmund, with the Reds facing the German side in the Europa League quarter-finals.

Klopp, 48, left Dortmund last summer after leading them to two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final.

Sevilla, trying to win the competition for the third successive season, face Athletic Bilbao in an all-Spanish tie.

La Liga rivals Villarreal meet Czech side Sparta Prague, while Portugal's Braga face Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine.

Liverpool will travel to Dortmund's Westfalenstadion in the first leg.

Klopp's Liverpool playing the club where he built his reputation is the Europa League tie most neutral fans were hoping to see at some stage. But the German, who replaced Brendan Rodgers in October, said after Thursday's 3-1 aggregate victory against Manchester United that he wanted to avoid them in the last eight.

Thomas Tuchel's side are widely considered as favourites for the competition after beating Tottenham, who are second in the Premier League, 5-1 on aggregate in the last 16.

"Dortmund - why would I want the world's strongest team?" said Klopp, when asked whether he would like to face his former club in the next round.

"But if we go there, we try to win. We have to be prepared and hopefully we are."

The former Mainz manager led Dortmund to the 2011 and 2012 Bundesliga titles, plus the 2013 Champions League final, before asking to be released from his contract.

The quarter-finals will be played on 7 and 14 April.

Europa League quarter-final draw
Braga (Por) v Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukr) 
Villarreal (Spa) v Sparta Prague (Cze)
Athletic Bilbao (Spa) v Sevilla (Spa)
Borussia Dortmund (Ger) v Liverpool (Eng)
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