Football Tips: Liverpool v Villarreal best bets from Phil Thompson and our top trader

It's all eyes on Anfield for this huge semi-final clash.

Sadio Mane Liverpool Thommo UCL

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

It’s another huge game for Liverpool in their quest for quadruple with Villarreal the visitors to Anfield on Wednesday in the Champions League semi-finals.

The Reds have barely broken sweat on route to the final four seeing off Inter Milan and Benfica, while their Spanish opponents have navigated tricky ties against Juventus and Bayern Munich.

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Big games call for big names, and who bigger than Paddy’s resident tipster Phil Thompson.

We sat Liverpool hero Thommo down with our top trader Brian McDonnell to debate the best bets for Wednesday’s game.

8pm: Liverpool v Villarreal
TV: BT Sport 2 and BT Sport Ultimate

THOMMO: Villarreal have got so many players who actually know the Premier League which will help them, certainly when coming to Anfield. But if you thought Everton sat in and made it very difficult, I thought it was actually like watching a Champions League game because that’s exactly how Villarreal will play.

Liverpool have to be more like they were in the second half than they were in the first, more intensity, more movement, certainly from the front three, which was quite poor in the opening 45.

These will do similar to what Everton were doing, try to slow the game down taking professional fouls, they’ll roll about, they’ll try it all. It will be like watching Everton again! So, I do think this will be frustrating.

Villarreal have done really well. They did just sit in in the first leg against Bayern Munich but they had umpteen chances. Liverpool’s defenders have to keep their heads clear and make sure when there’s a transition, they’re switched on.

As much as this is all going to be about attacking, attacking, attacking, they have to make sure they don’t allow those counter attacks. But Liverpool are so strong at Anfield, they’ve won their last 12 home Premier League games scoring 35 goals and conceding just two. I’m going for Liverpool to Win to Nil.

I also fancy Sadio Mane to Score Anytime in this. I do think he might play down the middle with Mo Salah and Luis Diaz as the wide players. As for a correct score prediction, I’m going for 3-0 to Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp

BRIAN: I think Liverpool will win but I’m going to go slightly different to Phil.

We all know about Liverpool and how good they are at the moment but just looking at Villarreal, they finished 7th in La Liga last season and they qualified for the Champions League by winning the Europa League. They’ve kind of surprised everybody by getting this far.

They knocked Juventus out in the Last 16 winning 3-0 in Turin and they were full value for their victory against Bayern Munich. They won the first leg 1-0 which could have been 3-0 or 4-0, they wasted a whole host of chances on the counter, and then went to Munich and soaked up the pressure and got a sucker punch on the counter attack.

Liverpool have only conceded twice in their last 12 home Premier League games but they did concede three against Benfica and they conceded against Inter Milan as well. Benfica had to go out and attack in that game, I don’t think Villarreal will but they are dangerous on the counter.

Arnaut Danjuma’s been very good, he has 11 league goals this season. Gerard Moreno will be a big loss, he’s out injured for Villarreal, but we all know about Liverpool and I do expect them to score two or three. I just think Villarreal can spring another surprise and get on the scoresheet so I’m going Liverpool to Win and Both Teams to Score.

Liverpool v Villarreal tips

Thommo
Liverpool to Win to Nil
Sadio Mane to Score Anytime
Liverpool to Win 3-0

Brian
Liverpool to Win and Both Teams To Score

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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