Villarreal vs Liverpool – UEFA Europa League – Preview

Posted on by Sreya

Liverpool vs West Bromwich Albion

Villarreal hosts Liverpool at El Madrigal on 28th April, Thursday in the first leg of the first UEFA Europa League semi-finals.

Liverpool orchestrated an impressive comeback against Borussia Dortmund, winning the second leg at home 4-3 in a performance reminiscent of their famous Champions League win in Istanbul over ten years ago.

Villarreal defeated Bayer Leverkusen in the Round of 16 and comprehensively won against Sparta Praha in their quarter-final.

Team News

Leo Baptistao is a confirmed absentee through injury while Mateo Musacchio and Jaume Costa have been listed as doubts as well for Villarreal. Liverpool have a number of injury concerns with as many as seven players missing the crucial away leg.

Jordan Henderson, Joseph Gomez, Danny Ings, Divock Origi, Emre Can, Jordan Rossiter and Christian Benteke will be absent.

Villarreal Possible Starting Lineup: Alphonse Areola, Mario, Eric Bailly, Victor Ruiz, Antonio Rukavina, Denis Suarez, Bruno, Manu Trigueros, Samu Castillejo, Cedric Bakambu, Roberto Soldado.

Liverpool Possible Starting Lineup: Simon Mignolet, Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Kolo Toure, Alberto Moreno, James Milner, Lucas Leiva, Adam Lallana, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge.

Thoughts From Both Camps

“Villarreal have already been close a few times, but only just missed out, so we are all determined to make it to the final this time. Liverpool are a team with a lot of history and that only further motivates us.

It is never easy to play in a semi-final and it is great to be there again after last season with Sevilla. I expect it to be two very entertaining games. We are two teams that like to attack, so I think it will be an open tie.”

– Denis Suarez, Villarreal.

“Momentum is not about having the best squad ready to play. Momentum is to be ready to fight. Villarreal also have had a lot of games. They play after the game against Real Sociedad and have a little fight for the Champions League. We need to be prepared. It isn’t about always having the best players but being perfectly prepared for our next game. Then we can progress.”

– Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool.

Contributor’s Pick

According to Head-2-Head statistics, the only previous meeting between these two clubs ended in a draw. Liverpool are undefeated in their last twelve UEFA Europa League matches while Villarreal are undefeated in their last eleven matches in the same competition.

Villarreal have won all their six European home games this season. It should be a closely contested affair with a 1-1 draw being the most likely outcome.

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