Liverpool’s bid to lift all four major trophies continues on Wednesday night when they take on Villarreal in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final game
Video not available
Liverpool’s quest for history continues on Wednesday night when they host Villarreal in the Champions League Semifinals at Anfield.
The Reds have a maximum of nine games left this season, a season that could yet end in an unprecedented quadruple win. The Carabao Cup is already in the trophy cabinet, with the FA Cup either go to Jürgen Klopp’s side or Chelsea next month at Wembley.
Villarreal’s advancement surprised and KO’d all of Europe juventus and Bayern Munich under Unai Emery in the last four. But Klopp insists his history-hunters won’t overlook the Yellow Submarine, assuming their Parc des Princes ticket has already been punched.
“We’re dealing with a very difficult opponent,” said the German. “To be honest, they were made for this competition. The way they set it up is really good. In the last two games there was maybe a small advantage, maybe Juve or Bayern underestimated them, but that will never happen to us.”
But with a pile-up that made him angry Liverpool Boss, Klopp is likely to make at least a few changes from the team that played last time out. The Reds had to work for their 2-0 win everton overcoming frustrations to collect all three points in the Merseyside derby.
And with another Premier League fixture imminent following the first leg with Villarreal, the idea of resting a player like Joel Matip could be an attractive choice for Klopp. Matip has established himself as Virgil van Dijk’s first-choice partner but has a long injury history and three games in six days could be a challenge for the centre-back.
Instead, Klopp can turn to summer signing Ibrahima Konate, who is beginning to win his new manager’s trust with consistently impressive performances. The former RB Leipzig man also has a knack for finding the net, scoring in both games against Benfica in the last eight.
AFP via Getty Images)
In midfield, Jordan Henderson appears destined to return to the starting XI after only coming on as a substitute against the Toffees. He will most likely replace Naby Keita with Fabinho and Thiago unable to fall due to recent performances.
And then, as he has for most of the season, Klopp has serious selection dilemmas when it comes to who will start in the front ranks. Diogo Jota positioned himself centrally against Everton with Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah on either side.
It didn’t quite work out for Jota and he was replaced by the exuberant Luis Diaz, who added another assist to his impressive start at the club. Should the Colombian return to the team, Mane will be able to take the central role in which he played some of his best football games of the season.
Liverpool predicted XI: Alison; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Konate, Robertson; Thiago, Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Mane, Diaz.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/liverpool-vs-villarreal-team-news-26806566 Jurgen Klopp should consider making three changes for Liverpool's semi-final against Villarreal