‘No chance’: Klopp insists Liverpool will not underestimate Villarreal | liverpool

Jürgen Klopp has said Liverpool will not fall into the same trap as Bayern Munich and Juventus in underestimating a Villarreal side “made for” the Champions League.

Liverpool are strong favorites to reach a third Champions League final in five seasons at the expense of Unai Emery’s team, who sit seventh in La Liga and visit Anfield in the semi-final first leg on Wednesday. Villarreal beat Bayern in the quarter-finals and Juventus in the last 16, winning 3-0 in Turin to record a 4-1 aggregate victory, and while Klopp believes both European heavyweights may have been guilty of complacency, he insists Liverpool will not repeat the mistake against the Europa League holders.

The Liverpool manager said: “It is absolutely special to be part of the semi-final, it’s crazy. It is a massive game. So many coaches, so many players out there work their socks off their whole life and have no chance to be even close to a semi-final so we have to cherish it, appreciate and enjoy it as well.

“We face a very difficult opponent. They are made for this competition, to be 100% honest. The way they set it up is really good. There might have been a little advantage in the last two games, maybe Juve or Bayern underestimated them, but that will never happen to us. There is no chance, so this little advantage might have gone. But they are still a really good football team who want to make history as well. It would be the first time they go to a final, which would be a massive thing for Villarreal I can imagine, but it is to us the same importance.”

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Mané, Díaz. 

Villarreal (4-4-1-1): Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Estupiñán; Lo Celso, Capoue, Parejo, Coquelin; Trigueros; Danjuma.  



Likely teams


liverpool (4-3-3): Alison; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Mané, Diaz.

Villarreal (4-4-1-1): Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Estupiñán; Lo Celso, Capua, Parejo, Coquelin; Trigueros; Danjuma.

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Roberto Firmino remains a doubt with the foot injury that kept him out of Liverpool’s past two Premier League wins over Everton and Manchester United, but otherwise Klopp has a full squad available.

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