Especially as the two coaches have surprisingly a lot in common.
Nobody would have expected that before the season, but now it’s realistic with six games to go that Liverpool could win this year’s Premier League. Everybody who follows the Bundesliga can’t overlook the parallels to Dortmund’s rise three years ago.
Dortmund won the Bundesliga in 2011 with a very dynamic style that was based on very fast counter-attacks. Their game was and is much more vertical than for example Bayern’s playing style under Guardiola.
Liverpool are playing a very similar style this season with a fast and flexible attacking formation. Their pressing requires a lot of running which is also very typical for the West German team.
Also the make-up of their squads show a lot of similarities. Borussia Dortmund didn’t have a lot of money in 2011 because they hadn’t played in the Champions League in the years before. However, they managed a perfect mixture between bringing through their own talents and purchasing cheap quality players.
Key players Marcel Schmelzer, Mario Götze and Nuri Sahin came all from their own youth teams, and other strong and hungry players were bought for little money from internationally not so acknowledged clubs, like Piszczek from Hertha Berlin, Subotic from Mainz, Sven Bender from 1860 Munich and Kagawa even from a team of the second division in Japan.
Liverpool’s youth players who who have a breakthrough with the first team this season are Flanagan and Sterling. Apart from that they were also very successful with purchasing new players before the season, in addition to Sturridge, signed last January. With an average age of 25.3 their team is the youngest one in the Premier League after Aston Villa. Their perspectives are just as good as they had been for the young Dortmund team back in 2011.
Not only do the squads have a lot in common though, also the coaches Brendan Rodgers and Jürgen Klopp show a lot of similarities in their biographies. Both were active footballers but never played in the first division of their countries. Both also coached a second division team first and promoted their teams to the first divisions where they managed to establish their teams. Afterwards Rodgers went from Swansea to Liverpool and Klopp from Mainz to Dortmund – both ambitious clubs that hadn’t won a national championship for several years. After an adaptation period of one season both began to be quite successful with their teams.
Dortmund managed to win the Bundesliga title in 2011 and won the double of Bundesliga and German Cup one year later. Last season they were in the Champions League final and this year they have already qualified for the quarter finals. Probably Liverpool and their fans wouldn’t be too unhappy if the similarities with Dortmund still went on for a little bit longer.