Champions League Semi-Final: Villarreal vs Liverpool Score Prediction | Match Preview
The UEFA Champions League (CL) has reached its business end as Liverpool make their way to Villarreal with one foot in the final.
Jurgen Klopp’s side will take a 2-0 lead into the second leg semi-final on Tuesday, knowing a draw will seal their 10th final in the European football’s premier competition.
Hosts Villarreal will be optimistic about their chances against Liverpool, having beaten Bayern at home in the quarter-final, but anything less than a win will see their giant-killing journey come to an end.
Villarreal vs Liverpool: Head to Head
The second-leg meeting between Villarreal and Liverpool at the Estadio de la Cerámica will be the fourth time these two will meet, including the first leg at Anfield.
Liverpool’s only visit to the stadium came in April 2016 as they lost 0-1, thanks to a 92nd-minute winner from Adrian Lopez in the first leg of the semi-final of the Europa League.
Liverpool though did manage to reverse the deposit to win 3-0 at Anfield to progress to the final. Villarreal will at least need to win by a margin of two goals in the return leg on Tuesday.
Liverpool’s record in Spain
The Reds most recent trip to Spain came in the group stages where they beat Atletico Madrid 3-2, while they have won all their away games this season.
In 21 visits to Spain, Liverpool have won eight matches, while losing the same number as well, including five draws.
Klopp’s men will be eager to make it to Paris later this month as they try to win their seventh European title.
On the flip side, Unai Emery’s side has only ever lost two matches at home against English opposition, both to Manchester-based clubs.
Player Analysis: Samuel Chukwueze vs Sadio Mane: Battle of the African forwards
Villarreal will have a dependency task on offer going into the second leg as they will miss the services of influential midfielder Gerard Moreno.
The Spanish international has mustered nine goals and three assists in La Liga but will be on the sidelines.
In his absence, 22-year-old, Samuel Chukwueze, will be in charge of the creative department as the Nigerian has two goals in the CL, one of which was the eventual winner against Bayern Munich in the quarter-final.
The young Nigerian has three goals and as many assists to his name in the La Liga and could provide the necessary width from the flanks.
One of the architects of Liverpool’s first-leg win, Sadio Mane has been pumped up for the season having notched 20 goals in all competitions.
The Senegalese star has been in superb form and has four goals in Europe this season along with 14 in the Premier League.
Sadio Mane scored the second of the two goals at Anfield last week and has form on his side going into the semi-final having already scored a brace in the FA Cup final four against Manchester City.
Mane’s passing game could be a decisive factor while his link-up play with Mohamed Salah will be crucial as well.
Villarreal vs Liverpool: What happened on the weekend?
While Liverpool have been fighting for the PL title, a crunch 1-0 win at Newcastle United was the perfect recipe for Jurgen Klopp’s men on the weekend. Nabi Kieta popped up with the winner while the Liverpool defense did their job.
The Yellow Submarine though had a contrasting result as they lost 1-2 to Alaves away from home as their only chance of qualifying for the CL goes through winning the whole thing.