Villarreal will hope to continue their Champions League fairytale when they travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool in the Champions League semifinals.
The Reds would have surely favoured the Yellow Submarines over Manchester City and Real Madrid.
But, the reigning Europa League winners have already proven they can punch well above their weight.
Having sent the likes of Juventus and Bayern Munich home, Unai Emery’s men will be eyeing to cause another historic upset.
Liverpool’s packed schedule
Fixtures are coming thick and fast for Liverpool, but they are showing no signs of slowing down.
The Merseyside side outfit have already won the EFL Cup, made it to the FA Cup final, stayed only one point away from Premier League leaders Manchester City, and are set to face Villarreal in the final four of the Champions League.
Liverpool are in contention for winning all of the competitions they are participating in.
If they manage to achieve that, it will be a unique feat in the history of English football, transcending Manchester United’s historic 1999 treble-winning campaign.
With such an incredible team spirit, Liverpool enter the fray as favourites.
But, they will be wary of the fact that they did not win in any of their previous two knockout stage home games at Anfield.
Inter won away at Anfield in the Round-of-16, and Benfica played out a three-all draw only a few weeks back.
But, the team news ahead of the tie can give the hosts more confidence.
Roberto Firmino is the only doubtful player in the Liverpool camp.
The Brazilian was not part of the Merseyside derby, and his foot injury could rule him out of the Villarreal clash too. But, Liverpool have competent attackers like Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz as alternatives.
Villarreal head coach Unai Emery has the experience to beat Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool in a high stakes European tie.
The former PSG and Arsenal boss knows that Liverpool have come a long way since the Europa League final defeat in 2016.
Nonetheless, that memory will be a beacon of hope for him going into this tie.
Villarreal no pushover
Emery has created a well-organized side that has already proved they can fight toe to toe with the elites.
They have bettered powerhouses like Juventus and Bayern Munich en route to the semifinals.
Villarreal will be trying to replicate their winning formula at Anfield and come up with another positive result.
Since their defeat to Manchester United in September, Villarreal has been unbeaten in the Champions League.
As Villarreal did not have to play a La Liga game since April 20, they will be well-rested against a Liverpool side which will be playing for the eighth time this month.
Morenos will be absent
Alberto Moreno will not be available to face his former club as he continues to recover from cruciate ligament injury.
But the biggest blow to the visitors will be the absence of star striker Gerrard Moreno, who is out with a hamstring problem.
Francis Coquelin would be a welcome returnee as the holding midfielder has returned to full training.
Villarreal have won away at Juventus and Bayern Munich. So, there’s no reason for Liverpool to take their Wednesday night guests lightly.
But, Villarreal will lack the cutting edge of Moreno up front.
Without Moreno, it would be difficult for them to breach Liverpool’s defence.
Liverpool have been in free scoring form lately. And we expect them to score against Villarreal as well.
We predict a 2-0 win for Liverpool.