By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Divock Origi could be handed a shock start for Liverpool in Thursday’s Europa League showdown against Borussia Dortmund, according to reports.
The Belgian striker has played second fiddle to established spearhead Daniel Sturridge since both returned to fitness about six weeks ago following spells out injured.
But, according to the Telegraph, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is considering dropping Sturridge from the team for the quarter-final first leg in Dortmund on Thursday night and promoting Origi to the starting X1.
It is said that the two reasons Klopp could prefer the younger forward as Origi’s pace is better able to stretch the Dortmund defence and Sturridge is still not totally match sharp following his long absence from injury.
The Telegraph claim Klopp will finalise his starting X1 after one more training session ahead of the match on Thursday morning.
It would widely be regarded as a surprise if Sturridge, 26, is overlooked, as he went straight back into the team following his lengthy spell on the sidelines and is the first-choice striker at Anfield.
In recent matches, Klopp has generally played the England international for the first hour of matches before then replacing him with the pacier Origi, 20.
Meanwhile, in other Liverpool team news, Klopp will be able to call upon attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino, who has recovered from a hamstring strain that has sidelined him for three weeks, since Liverpool’s last-16 win over Manchester United.