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Liverpool vs. Borussia Dortmund: Daniel Sturridge Talks Mats Hummels, FIFA, More

Published by Bleacher Report on Wed, 13 Apr 2016

Daniel Sturridge insists he will not be overawed by anything when Liverpool face Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday and compared the clash to "playing a final on FIFA."The Reds hold a slight advantage going into the quarter-final second leg at Anfield having claimed an away goal in the 1-1 draw at Signal Iduna Park, and striker Sturridge said he has no fear in going up against Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels, per David Lynch onLiverpool's official website:Im at his level, so I dont look at him as anyone whos bigger than me or better than me or Im in awe.Not at all. Hes the same as me. We face players at the top level in the Premier Leagueits the best league in the world.We face defenders who dont probably get as much credit as they deserve. Ive been playing at the top level for a long time now so its nothing new.Its just going to be a great night for everyone, and you cant let nerves get the better of you. You just have to enjoy it, thats what lifes all about.Sturridge's battle with World Cup winner Hummels could be one of the deciding factors on Merseyside as Liverpool and Dortmund look to book themselves a spot in the Europa League semi-finals.The Reds face a tough task as Dortmund are unbeaten in 2016, but Sturridge, 26, is determined to enjoy the occasion and compared it to going up against his friends on FIFA, per Lynch:"It's like when youre playing a final on FIFA and youre playing against your mate. Youve all put 20 in the middle and theres 100. The pressures on, your palms are sweaty, but as you get into the game, the nerves go away and you enjoy it. And thats exactly what its like."There are subplots aplenty ahead of the Anfield clash with much of the focus on Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as he looks to oust his former team from the competition.Bleacher Report's Dean Jones and Sam Tighe are predicting a tough night for the German manager on Thursday:However, Liverpool were given little chance ahead of the first leg and came away with a valuable away goalscored by Divock Origi ahead of Hummels' equaliserafter a fine performance in Dortmund.Sturridge was only a substitute at theWestfalenstadion but made a claim for a starting spot on Thursday by netting against Stoke City in Sunday's 4-1 win.The Englishman has also set himself a challenging goalscoring target for the future, per Lynch:"I know I can perform a lot better than I am now but its just that fitness and the repetition of playing 90 minutes is important as well.Its never easy to score in every game so I cant really set myself that standard but I think being better than one in two is really where you want to really be at."Origi netted twice against the Potters as well and Klopp faces a signficant dilemma in whether to start both the Belgian and Sturridge against Dortmund. Per BBC Sport's Conor McNamara, he has previously insisted that they can work together in partnership:It would be a bold move from Klopp, but one that could pay significant dividends if Liverpool can force an early goal which would sway the finely-balanced tie in the Reds' favour.
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