Jurgen Klopp goes into Tonight’s Europa League Semi Final knowing that he is just 3 matches away from winning the competition and with that not only will it bring silverware in his first season as Liverpool Manager but it will give the club an all important backdoor route into next season’s Champions League
After Liverpool’s sensational comeback against Borussia Dortmund in the Quarter Finals, the Merseysiders are now the favourites to win the trophy and when the draw was made they would have been happy to avoid both a trip to Ukraine to face Shakhtar and also the current holders Sevilla but that doesn’t mean they will be able to take Villarreal for granted. Any team which it makes it this far won’t have done so by accident and they will be just as a dangerous opposition to face.
Last weekend Liverpool slipped up at home to a battling Newcastle. It was a relatively happy homecoming for Rafa Benitez as he saw his side come from 2-0 down to gain what could be a crucial point in the battle to beat the drop
The balancing that Klopp that has now is how many players he can rest as he looks to try and win the Europa League and still maintain as high a league finish as possible. I think Liverpool fans would think the last few fixtures would be a worthy sacrifice if they were to go on and with the Europa League.
Their plans won’t have been helped by the suspension to Mamadou Sahko after failing a drugs test and also the injury to Divock Origi that was picked up during the Merseyside Derby. Although the news coming out of the Anfield camp today is that the injury wasn’t as bad as first feared and there is still a chance he could feature before the end of the season and therefore be fit and ready for Belgium’s EURO 2016 campaign.
Their opponents Tonight Villarreal prepared for this game with a 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad on Sunday, that point sees them only needing 2 more wins to secure 4th place in La Liga and a spot in next season’s Champions League
Tottenham fans will recognise a familiar face in the form of Roberto Soldado but after a decent start to the season his goal tally is once again more like the days at White Hart Lane then opposed to his form that secured his move from Valencia back in 2013
I think Liverpool will rightly go into this game as favourites and will look to bring an advantage to Anfield for next weeks return. I still think they need to be tighter at the back and could possibly concede but I still think they will come away with a win. I’ll go 2-1 Liverpool.