By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Charlie Nicholas is convinced Liverpool must score an away goal to overcome Borussia Dortmund in their Europa League showdown.

The Merseysiders head to Germany on Thursday for the first leg of their quarter-final clash against manager Jurgen Klopp’s former team.

Dortmund are second in the Bundesliga behind champions Bayern Munich and are widely considered to be the favourites to win the tie against Liverpool, who are ninth in the Premier League.

Sky Sports pundit Nicholas is tipping Dortmund to take control of the tie with a 2-0 victory on Thursday night, with red-hot striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang backed to open the scoring.

“There’s no doubt Jurgen Klopp would love to go back and show just what he’s done with this Liverpool side but I see a lot of similarities between this tie and Manchester City’s,” former Arsenal and Celtic striker Nicholas wrote in his column for Sky Sports.

“Dortmund have bags of pace, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in particular, and I just think they’ll be able to punish the mistakes that Liverpool make at the back and for that reason I think Klopp’s men simply have to score to have any chance of progressing.

“The one hope I do give them is that Anfield is a really special place on European nights, but so is Westfalenstadion and it’s going to be a big ask for them to leave with the tie still alive.”

Homeward bound: Klopp returns to his former club on Thursday

Homeward bound: Klopp returns to his former club on Thursday

Aubameyang has scored an astonishing 36 goals in 41 Dortmund matches this season, 23 of which have come in 26 Bundesliga matches.

He has blossomed at the German club following his move from St Etienne in 2013, first under Klopp and then the Liverpool manager’s successor Thomas Tuchel.

The latest Liverpool news ahead of the clash in Dortmund is that Klopp hopes to welcome three players back into his squad.