Liverpool v Villarreal Betting Preview
Villarreal coach Marcelino is expecting a Liverpool backlash as his team defend a one-goal advantage at Anfield in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final.
The Yellow Submarine have rather slipped under the radar in terms of potential Europa League winners this season but are just 90 minutes away from their first-ever European final thanks to Adrian’s dramatic late winner in the first leg.
Villarreal have already had a good season and, barring a dramatic collapse in their final two matches in La Liga, will be playing Champions League football next season regardless of what happens at Anfield. But, for Liverpool, this competition is there only chance of dining at the top table after the summer – the winners of the Europa League gain automatic entry into the following season’s Champions League.
The Reds gave as good as they got at El Madrigal last week and are desperately unlucky not to be starting the second leg on level terms. But all is not lost as Anfield will be rocking by kick-off time and none of the Liverpool team will want to let go to waste that terrific quarter-final comeback against Borussia Dortmund.
That defeat at El Madrigal was Liverpool’s first in this season’s Europa League and saw Villarreal stretch their unbeaten run in this competition to 12 matches. There have been an average of five goals scored in the last four matches at Anfield and goals at both ends in Villarreal last eight away games in the Europa League so backing Both Teams To Score could pay dividends at 19/20 – Liverpool have only kept one clean sheet in 11.
Over (3.5) in our Goals Over/Under market also makes some appeal at 5/2 as the game will open up with an early goal for either side.
Daniel Sturridge has been kept under wraps in the competition so far but Klopp may finally decide to unleash the England striker from the start for this one and he is 11/10 to be an Anytime Goalscorer.
Liverpool have succeeded in three of their previous five semi-finals in European competitions after losing the first leg away from home and the Anfield club have won their past seven home second-leg ties, conceding only once in the process. They can win this one at 8/11 in our Full Time Result betting and are 19/10 conceding a goal start in our Handicap market.
The match kicks off at 8.05pm on Thursday, May 5 at Anfield
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.