Liverpool host Villarreal in the second of this season’s Champions League semi-final first legs. It will be some feat to live up to the drama of last night, but this game promises to be a cracker nonetheless.
Villarreal toppled in-form Italian giants Juventus in the Round of 16 before humbling high-flying Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals. Yellow Submarine boss Unai Emery has proven himself master of European play yet again, with two Europa League crowns to his name to go along with countless surprising results across his glittering managerial career.
Still, this test proves even more fearsome than the previous two, as Liverpool remains in the hunt for an unprecedented quadruple and is considered joint-favorites with Man City by bookmakers to emerge victorious at the end of the season.
Liverpool vs Villarreal team news
Roberto Firmino will miss out for Jurgen Klopp’s side, while former Liverpool man Alberto Moreno and Yeremi Pino are unavailable for Villarreal. Gerard Moreno is a doubt.
Liverpool vs Villarreal TV channel
The match will be shown on BT Sport in the UK and Paramount+ in the US. Kick-off is at 8pm BST / 5pm ET / 2pm PT.
How to watch Liverpool vs. Villarreal
Liverpool vs. Villarreal date: Wednesday, April 27
Liverpool vs. Villarreal time: 3 p.m. ET
Liverpool vs. Villarreal streaming: Paramount+
Liverpool gets plenty of attention for its talented attacking players, but defensive midfielder Fabinho has been one of the best defenders in all of Champions League play. The Brazilian has the fifth-most tackles in the competition and is tied for ninth among all players in tackles-plus-interceptions. Offensively, fellow Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino has five goals to go along with Mohamed Salah’s eight, and Liverpool should be able to apply pressure from all sides to get off to a quick start in the first leg of the semis.
“Liverpool has a large squad, and it does not have any notable injury concerns right now,” Green told SportsLine. “Forward Roberto Firmino missed the 2-0 win against Everton with a minor foot injury, but he is expected to return soon, and no other players are sidelined. That bodes well for a busy run-in to the season.”
Liverpool enjoyed a faultless record in this season’s group stage having won 2-1 against AC Milan on Matchday 6 to conclude their perfect Group B campaign. They had opened with a 3-2 win at home to Milan before beating Porto (5-1 a, 2-0 h) and Atlético de Madrid (3-2 a, 2-0 h).
• The Merseyside club made it four away wins from four games with a 2-0 victory at Inter in the round of 16 first leg, going through despite a 1-0 loss at Anfield. They then won 3-1 at Benfica in the quarter-final first leg, progressing 6-4 on aggregate after a 3-3 home draw.
• That means Liverpool are without a win in their last four UEFA Champions League knockout games at Anfield (D2 L2), since the 4-0 victory against Barcelona in the 2018/19 semi-final second leg.
• Liverpool were one of three teams who won all six group games this season, along with Ajax (Group C) and Bayern (E), although they were the only one of the three who made it seven successive victories in the round of 16 first leg before their run was ended by Inter. Milan (1992/93), Paris Saint-Germain (1994/95), Spartak Moskva (1995/96), Barcelona (2002/03), Real Madrid (2011/12, 2014/15) and Bayern (2019/20) have all previously recorded six wins from six in a UEFA Champions League group stage; only Bayern went on to lift the trophy.
• This is Liverpool’s fifth successive campaign in the UEFA Champions League proper, all under Klopp; runners-up to Real Madrid in the 2017/18 final, they claimed their sixth European Cup at the expense of Tottenham with a 2-0 victory in the 2018/19 final.