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Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund are more inherently linked than ever before

Will the underdogs prevail in both title races?

In Spain, Italy and France the title races are a foregone conclusion. It’s the first week of March.

As a neutral that’s pretty underwhelming, but when you consider the domestic dominance of Barcelona, Juventus and PSG in recent seasons it hardly comes as a surprise.

So the fact we have two sides, Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund, going toe to toe with Man City and Bayern Munich respectively should be cherished.


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Clubs alike

Bradley Ormesher - The Times
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Clubs alike

There are so many distinctive similarities between the two clubs; Jurgen Klopp, iconic home stands, vociferous fanbases and You’ll Never Walk Alone.

But right now – right this very instance – they’ve never been more inherently linked.

Hardly David versus Goliath, but Liverpool and Dortmund are set on toppling two domestic giants in their respective divisions.

Give us a kiss Jurgie

PA:Press Association
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Give us a kiss Jurgie

Both held seemingly unassailable leads at the top just months ago – seven in Liverpool’s case, nine in Dortmund’s – yet were fittingly pegged back by City and Bayern on the same weekend.

The common denominator? Klopp, of course.

The Liverpool boss briefly knocked Bayern off their perch, winning back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2010 and 2011.

Perennial bottle job?

EPA
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Perennial bottle job?

His task is even more mountainous at Anfield; faced with usurping Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering centurions, arguably the finest side in Premier League history.

Klopp is trying to shake his reputation as a perennial nearly man but losing his last three finals with both Liverpool and Dortmund makes for painful reading.

And his charges are fading, just as Dortmund are in Germany, when it really matters.

When you know Bayern are coming

Getty - Contributor
7
When you know Bayern are coming

A lack of title-winning experience can be accused of both squads, with naivety and even complacency creeping in over a damaging few months.

Dortmund are an incredibly young, vibrant side but defensively their tender years are showing.

Against Spurs a couple of weeks ago three of their back four were 22 or younger and both Achraf Hakimi and Dan-Axel Zagadou made costly mistakes in the defeat to Augsburg on Friday night.

Sancho has emerged as Dortmund’s best attacking player

Getty - Contributor
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Sancho has emerged as Dortmund’s best attacking player

Following those glaring errors, goalkeeper Roman Burki said: “Sometimes I need to control myself during a game, to stop myself ripping someone’s head off.”

For Liverpool the problems lie at the other end.

Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino have mustered just one goal between them in their last six games, with only Sadio Mane hitting form as we enter the home straight of the season.

What’s up, Mo?

EPA
7
What’s up, Mo?

Salah, in particular, has really lost his mojo and his two gilt-edged misses in the Merseyside derby on Sunday will hurt.

Now after seeing their respective leads evaporate they need a response.

Virgil needs some help

AFP or licensors
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Virgil needs some help

Liverpool, having played City twice already this season, require favours from elsewhere whilst the Bayern v Dortmund showdown in early April already looks mouthwatering.

Two underdogs, two bröthers in arms, two ambitions – upsetting the domestic monopoly.