UEFA Champions League | Liverpool vs Villarreal: 5 Talking Points Before Kick Off

Henderson: ‘we are a special team doing special things’

Check out Jordan Henderson’s pre match press conference ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League semifinal first leg against Villarreal. The Liverpool captain is taking every game as it comes, but believes that this Liverpool team is special and has proven that over the years.

Liverpool vs Villarreal: Line-ups



On-form Villarreal to Face Another Test


Never before have Liverpool taken part in the semi-finals of the Champions League, FA Cup and EFL Cup in one season, and while they failed to beat both Benfica and Inter Milan during their knockout legs at Anfield, Klopp’s side had already settled the tie in the first legs.


Wednesday’s first leg will represent the eighth game of a hectic April schedule for Liverpool, who have managed to score at least two goals in every game since the start of the month, but Unai Emery and Villarreal demand plenty of respect before the Spaniard’s return to English turf.


Emery’s men have already faced two major tests of their European mettle and should therefore travel to Merseyside with unbridled optimism about their chances of gleaning a positive result, and their La Liga fortunes have also improved with back-to-back wins over Getafe and Valencia.


Winning three and drawing one of their four Champions League games on the road since going down to Manchester United back in September, Villarreal have found the back of the net in all of those encounters on rival turf so far, but their only previous semi-final appearance in the 2005-06 season ended in defeat to English opposition in Arsenal.


The modest club from Castellon have met Liverpool twice before in the semi-finals of the 2015-16 Europa League – winning 1-0 at La Ceramica in the first leg before a 3-0 Anfield defeat – and Emery’s penchant for European knockout ties (advancing 31 times out of 37) ought to lead to a few nervous glances from the Kop on Wednesday night – only Zinedine Zidane has a better progression rate in that department.

DPP Verdict

Juventus were thumped by Villarreal on their own turf. Bayern Munich failed to overcome Emery’s side at the Allianz Arena. There is no reason for the travelling party to believe that another remarkable away win and joyous plane ride home is not on the cards. However, Gerard Moreno’s goalscoring and playmaking qualities will be a huge miss for Villarreal at Anfield, and while we eventually expect Liverpool to break the Yellow Submarine’s resistance and earn a first-leg advantage, they will surely have to be even more patient than they were against Everton.