Liverpool FC Team News vs Villarreal (UCL Semis): Firmino, Klopp


Liverpool topped Everton 2-0 in the Merseyside Derby on Sunday, and now turn focus to the Champions League semifinal. The Reds host Villarreal in the first leg on Wednesday. The Reds are aiming to make their 10th appearance in the European Cup final, while Villarreal are looking for their first.

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Liverpool vs Villarreal:  Team News    Starting XI Prediction

Injury News

The only major injury concern for Liverpool is Roberto Firmino. He is doubtful for the match with a foot injury. The Brazilian forward is making progress and should be back soon, but it seems Wednesday is too early.

Everyone else appears fit and ready to go.

Full circle for Klopp, Liverpool

It’s a different competition, but the Champions League semifinal is a bit of deja vu for Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp. In Jurgen Klopp’s first season, Liverpool advanced to the Europa League final, and beat Villarreal to get there. In the final they faced Sevilla, who were managed by Unai Emery – the current Villarreal manager.

While Klopp said he hasn’t though much about that final, captain Jordan Henderson said that the manager told him after that loss to Sevilla that it was “the start of something special to come.” Now they face off again, as Liverpool hope to earn a trip to their third final this season. It won’t be easy, as Villarreal has already dispatched European powers Juventus and Bayern Munich.

“They are made for this competition to be honest,” Klopp said.

“They are a really good team, who also want to make history.”

Betting Lines

Liverpool are -320 favorites in the first leg. Villarreal are +1000 underdogs, with +425 odds on a draw. Liverpool are -700 to advance, with Villarreal at +450.

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