Downhearted Villarreal wants to up their spirit to overturn a two-goal deficit induced by tantalising Liverpool team. Jordan Henderson deflected his cross off Pervis Estupinan into the Yellow Submarines net before Sadio Mane put the Reds one foot into the Champions League final at Anfield.
VILL vs LIV Champions League Semi Final 2nd leg Match Details
Date: Tuesday, 3 May/ Wednesday, 4 May
Time: 21:00 (GMT)/ 00:30 (IST)
Venue: Estadio de la Ceramica, Villarreal
VILL vs LIV Champions League Semi Final 2nd leg Match Preview
Unai Emery's men conclusively shattered Juventus and Bayern Munich's progression in the competition but facing Liverpool was always going to be a different ball game altogether. Also without their star striker Gerard Moreno to link up the attack, the task became easier for the English side to secure a decisive result under the lights at Anfield in the first leg. Villarreal wishes to work their magic at their home now where they engineered those massive upsets in the competition. Despite being productive mostly on the trip, the atmosphere at Ceramica will be crucial to back this side and create history. The task is gigantic and if the La Liga outfit pulls this off, it will go down as one of the greatest comebacks in history. Their opposition haven't lost an away game throughout the competition this season and suffered setbacks only three times. The Yellow Submarines also have no other choice but to do the unthinkable task by winning the competition at the end if they are to stay in Europe next season. Their 2-1 loss to relegation strugglers Alaves, there were major changes to the eleven keeping the second leg in mind, have put them behind by four points for a Conference League qualification place with four daunting fixtures to end the season. With Moreno back, Villarreal have no choice but to go for it with 12 games unbeaten streak at home to be confident about.
Liverpool fans are the most jubilant at this time with their team reaching unprecedented heights, chasing a historical quadruple and now their beloved manager extending his stay at the club. Jurgen Klopp has now committed to continue to be the face of the management until 2026, two years more than his existing contract. The exciting news comes at a moment when the Reds enter the last crucial weeks of the season with three trophies to triumph on. Liverpool got past another stubborn challenge in Newcastle to keep up the pressure on Manchester City for the Premier League title with four more games to play and a FA Cup final to compete in as well. The Champions League final is also on the horizon to wrap up an incredible and unmatchable season for them. There is also this possibility of facing title rivals Man City in the showpiece. The 2-0 win at Anfield against Villarreal squizzed between the victories over Everton and the Toons showed low block defending only momentarily prevent the lavishing front three, whoever they field, from unlocking their defence. Having a midfield architect like Thiago Alcantara continue to push the side to different spheres of brilliance. If Liverpool shows their true character again, their objective on the night will be fulfilled.
Villarreal were at this stage of the competition back in 2006, Juan Riquelme missed a crucial spot-kick, saved by Arsenal's goalkeeper Lehmann which could have put them into extra time against the Gunners. They trailed 1-0 from the first leg and could have taken their chance to get into the final had that penalty got converted at Ceramica. This time the Yellow Submarines wanted to fulfil the desire something which Liverpool has done themselves being the only side till now to have overturned a two or more goals deficit at the home against Barcelona in the 2018/19 season.
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VILL vs LIV Champions League Semi Final 2nd leg Team News
Unai Emery confirmed Gerard Moreno will be available for the second leg after missing the first one and other games due to a hamstring injury. A massive injury boost for the team. However, Arnaut Danjuma fitness is an issue with the Dutch winger not featuring at the weekend and will be accessed further. Former Liverpool player, Alberto Moreno is ruled out.
Liverpool will be without Roberto Firmino for the game due to a foot injury but he will travel with the squad as Jurgen Klopp said. The rest of the players are fine with some having to overcome stomach bugs before they make the trip to Spain.
VILL vs LIV Champions League Semi Final 2nd leg Expected Lineups
Villarreal: Geronimo Rulli; Juan Foyth, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Pervis Estupinan, Etienne Capoue, Francis Coquelin, Dani Parejo, Lo Celso, Samuel Chukwueze, Gerard Moreno
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Luis Diaz
VILL vs LIV Champions League Semi Final 2nd leg Dream11 Team Prediction
GK: Alisson (8.5)
DEF: Trent (9), Konate (9), Albiol (8.5), Robertson (8.5)
MID: Thiago (9), Capoue (9), Parejo (9.5)
FW: Salah (10), Mane (9.5), Lo Celso (8.5)
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