Borussia Dortmund's prospects of overcoming Liverpool in their Europa League quarter-final clash have improved three-fold with Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gundogen and Sokratis Papastathopoulos returned to training ahead of the game on 6 April. Their return will be a massive boost to Thomas Tuchel, who will be keen to get one over former manager Jurgen Klopp, who is currently in-charge of the Reds.
According to German daily Ruhr Nachrichten, the trio took part in training 48 hours ahead of the game at the Signal Iduna Park arena, and are likely to make the squad to face the Merseyside club. Hummels and Sokratis have been sidelined just for the last four days and missed just one game against Werder Bremen, but Gundogan has been a long-term absentee having missed the last five games. The midfielder, however, confirmed his return to training, which will not bode well for Liverpool's chances of beating Dortmund.
"Hi guys! I'm finally back in training and hope to help the team soon again on the pitch," the Germany international wrote on his official Twitter account ahead of the game.
The publication meanwhile, posted a video of the team's training session which involved Hummels, Sokratis and Gundogan. The former duo were sidelined with a calf strain and stomach bug respectively, while the latter had a foot injury. Mattias Ginter and Sven Bender replaced the defensive duo for their game against Bremen, but are likely to make way for the visit of Klopp's team.
Manuel Neuer, meanwhile has warned Liverpool ahead of their visit to Germany labeling Dortmund among the five best clubs in Europe at the moment. The second placed Bundesliga team had a difficult 2014/15 campaign under Klopp and finished seventh, but have comeback strongly under the new manager and are currently just five points behind Bayern Munich in the league table with six games still left to play before the end of the campaign.
"Dortmund are undoubtedly one of the five strongest teams in Europe, or even worldwide in my opinion, even though they are not playing in the Champions League," the Germany international goalkeeper said, as quoted by the Mirror.
"At Bayern, it was clear to us that after a poor season [Dortmund finished seventh in Klopp's final campaign, after being BOTTOM of the Bundesliga in the February], they would come back. It was clear as well that they were going to be our biggest rival," Neuer added.