Liverpool’s hunt for European glory has put them on a collision course with an old foe as they host Villarreal in the Champions League semi-finals.
The Reds are still firmly in the hunt for a historic quadruple after beating rivals Everton 2-0 on Sunday to continue their domestic charge.
Jurgen Klopp’s attention now turns to Europe, where he faces Unai Emery, who denied the German the chance to make the Europa League his first piece of silverware as Liverpool boss in 2016.
But Klopp got revenge when the Spaniard was in charge of Arsenal as his Reds went unbeaten in four games and scored 14 times.
Liverpool v Villarreal: Start date and time
This Champions League clash will take place on Wednesday, April 27.
The first leg of the semi-final at Anfield will start at 8 p.m.
Liverpool beat Benfica 6-4 on aggregate to advance to the last four, while the Yellow Submarine fired Bayern Munich with a 2-1 win.
Ironically, these two teams have only met once in Europe before, in 2016, where both teams won their respective home matches, but Liverpool progressed to the final to face Emery’s Sevilla.
Liverpool v Villarreal: TV Channel and Live Stream
This match will be broadcast live on BT Sport 2 with live coverage starting at 7 p.m.
BT Sport customers can stream this live through the app using their mobile devices, tablets or computers.
Updates will also be live on talkSPORT throughout the evening.
To tune into talkSPORT or talkSPORT 2, click HERE for the live stream.
- Application iPhone – Download from the Apple store
- android – Download from Google Play
- Radio – talkSPORT is available across the UK via DAB digital radio and on 1089 or 1053 AM
- TV – Listen to talkSPORT via your TV on the following channels: Sky: Channel 0108 Blank media: Channel 927 Freeview: Channel 723 Freesat: Channel 731
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Liverpool v Villarreal: Team News
The hosts have almost a fully fit squad to choose from, with Roberto Firmino the only slight injury doubt.
The Brazilian missed the Merseyside derby with a minor foot problem but Klopp otherwise has a full list of options to choose from.
On the away side, Alberto Moreno will miss the reunion with his former teammates due to a ruptured cruciate ligament.
Star striker Gerard Moreno is also sidelined with a hamstring problem, but former Arsenal player Francis Coquelin is expected to return.
Liverpool v Villarreal: What was said?
Speaking after Liverpool qualified for the semi-finals, Klopp told BT Sport: “If I could do an analysis of Villarreal right now it would be very strange.
“I saw the results, the match was very impressive.
“I have only picked up pieces but to beat Juventus and Bayern Munich they deserve to be in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
“Unai Emery is the king of cuts, it’s amazing what he does. But give me some time to prepare him properly.
Liverpool v Villarreal: Facts of the game
- Since the start of the 2009-10 season, the inaugural UEFA Europa League campaign, Villareal manager Unai Emery has gone from 84% of his UEFA Europa League/Champions League knockout matches (31 /37), the second best ratio of all coaches. having taken charge of at least 10, after only Zinedine Zidane (14/16 – 88%).
- Of the players remaining in the competition this season, only Karim Benzema (15) has recorded more secondary chances created than Villarreal’s Dani Parejo (14), which is the pass played before the final pass sets up a shot or goal , highlighting a player’s influence. on their team’s ability to find shooting opportunities.
- It was only in 2017-18 (10) that Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah scored more UEFA Champions League goals in a single campaign than the eight he has scored this season, taking his tally for the club to 33 The Egyptian is now just three behind Didier Drogba (Chelsea) and Sergio Agüero (Man City) for the most goals scored in the competition for an English side (36 each).
- Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno has registered four assists in the UEFA Champions League this season, with just three more players. Indeed, since 2003-04, it has been the record for a Spanish player in his first campaign in the competition, with Gabi (2013-14) and Isaac Cuenca (2011-12).
- It will be the fourth time in Villarreal’s last five semi-finals in major European competition to see them face English opponents in the last four legs, with their only other meeting in this competition coming against Arsenal in 2005-06. The Spanish side were eliminated 1-0 on aggregate, with Villarreal also the last visiting side to play a European fixture at the old Highbury stadium.
- Of the 12 teams to have reached the European Cup/UEFA Champions League semi-finals at least five times, only Benfica (7/8) and AC Milan (10/12) have a qualification rate in final higher than Liverpool (82%), who have managed to reach the final on nine of their last 11 occasions.
- Liverpool reached the European Cup/UEFA Champions League semi-final for the 12th time, with no English team playing in the last four more often (tied with Manchester United). Indeed, as a club, the Reds reached the semi-finals of the League Cup, FA Cup and European Cup for the first time ever in the same campaign.
- During his managerial career, Villarreal boss Unai Emery has faced Liverpool five times (once with Sevilla and four times with Arsenal), with those matches producing 26 goals (5.2 per game on average) and both teams scoring each. The only European encounter between a man and a club was the 2016 UEFA Europa League final, in which Emery’s Sevilla side beat Jürgen Klopp’s Reds 3-1.
- Since a 2-1 victory on Merseyside against Everton in August 2005, Villarreal have failed to win any of their last eight away games in England in all competitions (D3 L5); is already tasting defeat at Old Trafford in the group stages earlier this season.
- Liverpool and Villarreal have met only twice before in European competition, with both sides winning their home game of the 2015-16 UEFA Europa League semi-finals when Liverpool progressed to the final against Unai Emery’s Sevilla .