They've made it to the last four
But there's some more yellow peril awaiting Jurgen Klopp as his side head to Spain
Remember the collective orgasm that all football fans has when Dejan Lovren scored against Borussia Dortmund? Everyone thought that having beaten the favourites, Liverpool were on their way back to glory and that a Europa League title awaited them. They managed to avoid back to back champions Sevilla in the last four but were dealt with the dangerous Villarreal. The first leg is in El Madrigal and we’ve picked out a correct score bet that’ll put a smile on Klopp’s chops.
It’s been a mixed couple of weeks for the Reds.
GOOD – That win against Dortmund
BAD – Drawing with Newcastle after being 2-0 up
GOOD – Demolishing Everton in the derby
BAD – Mamadou Sakho failing a drugs test
That last one is the worst of the lot because it means that either Martin Skrtel or Kolo Toure will start this evening. Which on paper doesn’t look too bad, but on the pitch it’s essentially like that birthday present you got that you don’t want. A sense of disappointment, which will be gotten rid of in six weeks.
Liverpool haven’t lost in a month though and the return of Danny Sturridge has contributed greatly to that. He’s got four goals in his last five appearances and somehow managed to not get injured in that spell.
Villarreal are that team that are quite good in Spain but are overlooked because of the top three. Don’t believe us? They’ve lost twice at home domestically all season and have wins over both Madrid clubs to boot. They’ve come from behind to draw with Barca in the Madrigal this season as well. This has mainly been down to Cedric Bakambu.
22 goals for the season, nine in nine games in the Europa League and a higher shot accuracy than Messi, Benzema and Griezmann. Which explains why Liverpool fans are worried coming up against a Slovakian that can’t control his feet let alone a hotfiring Frenchman. Villarreal also boast Soldado and Denis Suarez in their ranks, both more than capable of causing bother
This isn’t going to be easy for Liverpool, particularly after a 950km journey.
- Klopp has yet to win in five UEFA games in Spain, drawing three and losing two.
- Liverpool have seven draws and five wins in this year’s competition – the only unbeaten side.
- Villarreal haven’t beaten a Premier League side in their last ten meetings.
- But they’ve only conceded one goal at the Madrigal in the Europa (against Sparta in the quarters)
Of those seven draws for Liverpool five have been 1-1 and three of those have come away from Anfield. At odds of , another 1-1 scoreline is just too good not to tip. It’s another big game for Liverpool so look at their main man for scoring in big games (but doing very little otherwise) in Coutinho to open the scoring at. Bakambu’s odds of in the same market come from the fact he’s mostly been used off the bench.
And some advice for any Scousers looking to keep fit – a jog on a sunny Spanish beach is a good way to lose weight…