Champions League SF Leg 1 : Liverpool Vs Villarreal Match Preview, Line Up, Match Info

Liverpool Vs Villarreal
(Champions League SF Leg 1)
12.30 AM IST (UTC +5:30)

Full Time
Man Of The Match - Thiago Alcantara
Liverpool XI : 
Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago, Salah, Mane, Diaz
Villarreal XI:
Rulli, Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Estupinan, Chukwueze, Parejo, Capoue, Coquelin, Danjuma, Lo Celso


Match Preview

The UEFA Champions League semifinals are underway, with Tuesday’s breathtaking showdown between Manchester City and Real Madrid kicking things off. However, with that first-leg tie being done and dusted, the focus quickly shifts to Wednesday’s fixture: Liverpool’s intriguing clash with this season’s surprise package Villarreal.

It would be an understatement to say Klopp’s men are the favorites to go through. The Merseyside giants are in sizzling hot form, with Salah and Co. looking to achieve what no other club has pulled off: winning the quadruple.

Having lifted the Carabao Cup a while ago, Liverpool have the opportunity to add the FA Cup, Premier League, and UEFA Champions League titles to their belt this season, which would be unprecedented. However, the path to those three aforementioned trophies isn’t easy, including the European crown.

Nonetheless, form is on the Reds’ side. The English giants enter this clash on the back of a confidence-boosting 2-0 victory over Everton in a Merseyside Derby in which the Toffees aimed to only frustrate their rivals. Goals from Andy Robertson and Divock Origi sealed the three points, maintaining their 10-game unbeaten run across all competitions.

In fact, the last time Liverpool lost was in March and that was their pointless 1-0 stumble against Inter Milan in the round of 16, a result which secured them progression regardless thanks to a 2-1 aggregate victory. Besides that UEFA Champions League hiccup, one would have to go back all the way to late December to find the club’s last defeat, going 1-0 down away to Leicester ahead of Boxing Day.

Since then, Klopp’s men have taken to the field 26 times, winning all but five of those outings, with four ending in draws and only one ending in a loss. This is why the Reds are pushing for title in both the Premier League, where they trail league leaders Manchester City by a single point, and in the UEFA Champions League.

However, while confidence is a virtue, arrogance is a vice, and as a result, the hosts for the first leg must not underestimate Villarreal. One must simply look at who the Yellow Submarine have eliminated in order to realize why they should not be taken lightly.

The Spanish side weren’t expected to go far in the tournament, having drawn Juventus in the round of 16, with many predicting the Old Lady to go through. After drawing 1-1 with the Bianconeri at El Madrigal, Unai Emery’s men pulled off the second most surprising result of this season’s UEFA Champions League knockout round, beating the Italian giants 3-0 in Turin to make the quarterfinals.

But if that was the second most shocking result, which was the most surprising fixture? That honor goes to Villarreal’s quarterfinal clash with Bayern Munich, with the UEFA Europa League holders dumping the almighty Germans out of the tournament after beating the Bavarians 2-1 on aggregate.

Unfortunately, while the away side have been remarkable in Europe, their overall form is uninspiring mainly due to their sub-par La Liga campaign. Danjuma and Co. have won back-to-back games in the build-up to this fixture but out of their 20 last outings, the Spaniards have triumphed only 10 times, which pales in comparison to Liverpool’s form. Nonetheless, one can expect the Yellow Submarine to put up a fight.

Score Prediction

 LIVERPOOL   [ 2 ] - [ 0 ]  VILLARREAL  

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