Villarreal vs Liverpool predictions and match preview for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg. Read on for the head-to-head, team news and predicted lineups as the Yellow Submarine aim to stage a famous European comeback.
|Date||Tuesday 3rd May 2022|
|Kick-Off||21:00 (local time)|
|Competition||UEFA Champions League Semi-Final, 2nd Leg|
Villarreal vs Liverpool Preview
Villarreal hosts Liverpool in the Estadio de la Cerámica for the 2nd leg of their UCL semi final tie. Being 2-0 down against a relentless Liverpool, the circumstances aren’t favourable or ideal, but the Yellow Submarine will make every effort to make their small, but passionate city and fans proud.
On Saturday, Villarreal played against Deportivo Alavés and Unai Emery decided to rest nine out of his eleven starters with this match in mind. The former Arsenal manager has a history of using this strategy, with the most recent and famous success story being against Bayern Munich where he rested his full starting lineup ahead of the second leg. Though Saturday’s match ended in a 2-1 loss, it’s unlikely that it will have a great effect on their confidence as they seem to be superior mentally, physically, emotionally and tactically in cup competitions.
The Yellow Submarine will have to offer a greater threat offensively than they did in the first leg. It was never going to be easy going to Anfield to play perhaps the strongest team in world football at the moment, but their ultra defensive approach limited their chances of reducing the deficit. The idea to defend deep was logical and understandable, but a better counter attacking scheme could’ve been implemented to give Liverpool something to worry about coming into this match. Nevertheless, overcoming a 2-0 deficit is still possible, but only if the team-spine of Albiol, Parejo and Danjuma, as well as the fans, all have phenomenal performances.
Liverpool are now unbeaten in 12 matches, scoring 27 and conceding only 8 during the impressive run. Their most recent victory was against the recently resilient Newcastle at St. James’ Park. A deft Naby Keita finish gave the Reds the three points to aid their continued chase of league leaders Manchester City. It was a hard fought, well deserved victory which allowed key players like Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Thiago Alcântara and Fabinho to rest.
It will take a total capitulation tactically and mentally to see Liverpool not book their place in Paris for the Champions League final. With a motivator like Klopp in charge, it’s unlikely, but as we’ve always seen with football, the ball is round and anything is possible. It’ll be interesting to see Klopp’s approach and personnel choice for this match while being 2-0 up and in the hunt for a quadruple. Both teams and managers respect each other but it’ll be war once that whistle is blown to commence the match.
Head to Head
- Liverpool were comfortable 2-0 winners in last week’s 1st Leg.
- The sides had only met once before in Europe and that was a Europa League Semi-Final in 2016.
- Villarreal won the 1st Leg 1-0 but lost the return at Anfield 3-0.
Villarreal are hopeful key striker Gerard Moreno is fit enough to start after injury. Francis Coquelin, Arnaut Danjuma and Yeremy Pino are also carrying knocks while former Liverpool man Alberto Moreno is out for the season.
Roberto Firmino is the only injury doubt as far as Liverpool are concerned.
Villarreal vs Liverpool Predictions
Score Prediction: Villarreal 1-2 Liverpool (Aggregate: 1-4)
Scoring three goals with no reply against Liverpool will be extremely challenging, especially with the plethora of attacking options they have. However, it should be a more entertaining and exciting game than the first leg with goals, controversy and quality football.
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