With a League Cup victory over Chelsea on penalties earlier this season, Liverpool has already claimed one piece of trophy this season. The Reds will be aiming to reach their third Champions League final under manager Jurgen Klopp.
Having finally made it down to the final four, it will be interesting to watch if Unai Emery can lead the ‘yellow submarine’ to its first-ever UCL final, as well as whether Jurgen Klopp can avenge his defeat to Emery’s former side Sevilla in the Europa League final six years ago.
In the first leg of the second UEFA Champions League quarterfinal on Thursday, Liverpool will attempt to complete a quadruple by defeating Villarreal.
It is the Reds’ third appearance in the Champions League final under manager Jurgen Klopp, and they have already won one prize this season, defeating Chelsea on penalties in the League Cup final.
Liverpool was knocked from the Champions League by Real Madrid in the quarterfinals last season — a team that it has a chance to face if it advances past Unai Emery’s Villarreal in this year’s tournament.
Villarreal, on the other hand, beat Bayern Munich to enter its third Champions Semifinal ever, its first since 2005-06. Emery has already been immortalised at the club as he guided it to its first European trophy, the Europa League in last year.
With the competition finally down to the final four, it will be interseting to see whether Unai Emery can carry the ‘yellow submarine’ to its first ever UCL final or will Klopp avenge his defeat to Emery’s then side Sevilla in the Europa League final in six years ago.
HEAD-TO-HEAD: Liverpool and Villarreal have come up against each other once before in the Europa League 2015-16 semifinal, wherein the Reds had come out victorious 3-1 on aggregate. This time, the Spanish side will look to avenge the loss this time around.
- Liverpool 3-0 Villarreal
- Villarreal 1-0 Liverpool
TEAM FORM: Villarreal is on a six-match unbeaten run while Liverpool come into the semifinal having won the Merseyside derby and is on a 10-match unbeaten run.
Liverpool’s last five matches:
- 2-0 Win vs Everton (Premier League)
- 4-0 Win vs Manchester United (Premier League)
- 3-2 Win vs Manchester City (FA Cup semifinal)
- 3-3 Draw vs Benfica (Champions League quarterfinals)
- 2-2 Draw vs Manchester City (Premier League)
Villarreal’s last five matches:
- 2-0 Win vs Valencia (LaLiga)
- 2-1 Win vs Getafe (LaLiga)
- 1-1 Draw vs Bayern Munich (Champions League quarterfinals)
- 1-1 Draw vs Athletic Bilbao (LaLiga)
- 1-0 Win vs Bayern Munich (Champions League quarterfinals)
Players to look out for:
Sadio Mane, Liverpool: The Senegal International has changed his position from a winger to a striker and has adjusted like a duck to water, scoring four goals in Liverpool’s last five matches. With Mohamed Salah back to the scoring charts, the pair of Mane and Salah always remains a menace for opponents.
Arnaut Danjuma, Villarreal: The Dutchman opened the scoring for Villarreal in the Champions League quarterfinals and comes into the match, scoring a double against his team’s arch-rival Valencia. The former Bournemouth player has scored 16 goals in 33 appearances this season, six of which have come in the Champions League.
What have the managers said?
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool0 seconds of 1 minute, 4 secondsVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard ShortcutsPlay/PauseSPACEIncrease Volume↑Decrease Volume↓Seek Forward→Seek Backward←Captions On/OffcFullscreen/Exit FullscreenfMute/UnmutemSeek %0-9
Unai Emery, Villarreal0 seconds of 1 minute, 21 secondsVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard ShortcutsPlay/PauseSPACEIncrease Volume↑Decrease Volume↓Seek Forward→Seek Backward←Captions On/OffcFullscreen/Exit FullscreenfMute/UnmutemSeek %0-9
Liverpool Predicted XI: Alisson Becker (GK), Trent Alexander-Arnold, Ibrahima Konate, Virgil Van Dijk, Andy Robertson,Keita, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara, Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane
Villarreal Predicted XI: Geronimo Rulli(GK), Juan Foyth, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Pervis Estupinan; Dani Parejo, Etienne Capoue, Francis Coquelin, Giovani Lo Celso, Paco Alcacer, Arnaut Danjuma