UEFA Europa League: Liverpool vs Villarreal preview

Liverpool need another fightback at Stamford Bridge as they play host to Spanish side Villarreal in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final. Adrian Lopez struck late last week to give Villarreal a 1-0 first-leg victory. That was the first ever competitive match between the two sides. Liverpool have won 13 of their matches against Spanish opposition, losing 10 and drawing another 10. Villarreal have won only one match in England so far, but their overall record against English clubs shows 4 wins, 6 draws and 4 defeats.

Liverpool nearly pulled off a goalless draw in Spain last week, they kept things quiet for most of the match but eventually cracked in stoppage time and leaked what could be a crucial goal. In the previous round they pulled off an amazing fightback against Borussia Dortmund, coming back from 3-1 down to win 4-3. This time they only need a 2-0 win, but if they concede a goal at home again then the situation will get complicated. Last weekend they lost 3-1 against Swansea in the Premier League but they have the excuse of thinking about the European match rather than the league clash. Emre Can is in doubt following an ankle injury, while Jordan Henderson, Divock Origi, Danny Ings and Joe Gomez will surely miss out.

Villarreal have been doing very well lately as the last-gasp victory over Liverpool was followed by a 2-0 league win over Valencia at the weekend, a result that guarantees their participation in next season's Champions League. They are unbeaten in 12 Europa league matches but have only won two of their last seven away matches in Europe. However, they were not beaten by two goals or more away in the Europa League since April 2011, when they appeared in their last semi-finals. Eric Bailly will be unavailable due to a groin injury that he picked up in last week's match, while Leo Baptistao remains sidelined.

Probable line-ups:

Liverpool: Mignolet - Clyne, Lovren, Toure, Moreno - Milner, Can, Allen - Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho

Villarreal: Asenjo - Mario, Musacchio, Ruiz, Costa - Adrian, Pina, Bruno, Suarez - Soldado, Bakambu

My prediction: Liverpool to win 1-0 (after 90 minutes)

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

Liverpool win - 1.80
Draw - 3.75
Villarreal win - 5.00

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Members Comments

  • Serbia urkesh0rk


    Odds on tonights match Liverpool vs Villarreal are highly favoring hometeam and all for the good reasons. Last week spanish team won by scoring in lategame and not playing that convincingly. People call Villarreal mini Atletico Madrid becouse of their good defence and i think that is their biggest strenght going into tonights match. Last english team standing in european championships have quality to go to finals. Sahkos ban put team morale down, but i think that Kloopp will make his team win. Will they go to finals we will see.

  • Serbia h34dhunt3r


    After watching 90 minutes of first leg I was like "Liverpool is gonna take this match-up easily" but then that '96 minute goal happened which is now troublesome. Liverpool played amazing football until few weeks ago. After that amazing match against Borusia Dortmund their form is going down. Whoever wins in second matchup, finals would be much better for viewers if we get to see Kloop inthere. Let our hopes become reality. Go reds!

    My predictions:
    - Result: 2-0 for Liverpool;
    - Man of the match: Philippe Coutinho

  • Serbia milo?.sekuli?


    Super match from Liverpool. I cant describe how good coach Jurgen Klopp is. The man simply reborn Liverpool, they play way better now. Sturridge great tonight, scoring , assisting and had a couple of good opportunities .
    Final Liverpool vs Sevilla? I hope the british will celebrate. Atletico champion , Leicester champion and Liverpool champion, I couldn't ask for more :)

  • Bulgaria sharpe


    I'm not sure it was Stamford Bridge that saw another fight back from Liverpool ; )
    Anyway I think it was quite expected Liverpool to win that one although it wasn't sure that they would reach a final even if the do it. In the end all came up in the right way for them in this game but not at the final I'm afraid.

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