Villarreal have been written off before (um, by me) but surely, surely Unai Emery’s excellent run in the Champions League ends now they’ve been drawn against six-time winners Liverpool?
Jurgen Klopp was the coach who steered Liverpool to their most recent CL triumph in 2019. And the Merseyside team are currently in contention for an unprecedented quadruple haul of trophies this season. It might not come off – but it’s surely a tall order for Villarreal to be the team that scupper Liverpool’s latest Champions League dream.
Yellow Submarine without Gerard Moreno
On one hand, even Villarreal at their most tenacious will surely struggle to contain this side at Anfield. On the other hand, nobody gave the Spanish side much of a prayer against Bayern Munich in the previous round either. You can see how that worked out.
The raw stats alone suggest Emery’s side aren’t without a hope. Liverpool haven’t won either of their last two home games in the Champions League – they drew against Benfica last time, and lost to Inter in the round of 16.
Those results didn’t matter because Liverpool had already done enough in the initial away leg, however. In the Prem, Liverpool have won their last 12 matches at Anfield, conceding just two goals across that sequence.
The Yellow Submarine have their work cut out for them – and will be without forward Gerard Moreno, absent with a hamstring injury.
Liverpool evens to win to nil
Still, the visitors will presumably be more concerned with keeping Liverpool at bay, rather than nicking an audacious goal. Even if they did stick three past Juventus in Turin back in March.
They’ll surely find it tougher to penetrate this defence, though. Liverpool are evens to win to nil, which seems like the best way to get a reasonable price on the hosts to win.
That’s the way to go then – with the disclaimer that Unai does know a bit about catching out opponents who are clear favourites. To do it at Anfield, though? That really would be a “good ebening” for the former Arsenal coach…
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