English giants Liverpool FC welcome Spanish outfit Villarreal to the Anfield on Thursday, April 28 for the first leg of their semi-final clash in the UEFA Champions League 2021-22. The match kicks off at 12:30 AM IST (Indian Standard Time).

Liverpool vs Villarreal: Road to UEFA Champions League 2021-22 semi-finals

Six-time UCL champions Liverpool topped Group B, winning all their six matches before besting Italian giants Inter Milan 2-1 on aggregate over two legs in the round of 16. In the quarters, they met Benfica but Jurgen Klopp’s men cruised past the Portuguese outfit 6-4 on aggregate to make the semis.

Villarreal, meanwhile, finished behind Manchester United in Group F to squeeze through to the knockout rounds, where they have emerged as giant killers. Unai Emery’s men knocked out Italian powerhouse Juventus in the round of 16 (4-1 aggregate) before edging out German giants Bayern Munich 2-1 on aggregate over the two-legged quarter-finals. The Yellow Submarines will be gunning for Liverpool’s scalp in the semis.

Liverpool vs Villarreal UEFA Champions League 2021-22 odds

  • Dafabet: Liverpool 1.30, Villarreal 10.00, Draw 6.00
  • Bet365: Liverpool 1.30, Villarreal 8.50, Draw 6.00
  • 10Cric: Liverpool 1.30, Villarreal 9.35, Draw 5.81
  • Parimatch: Liverpool 1.28, Villarreal 12.00, Draw 5.90

Note: Odds are subject to change. Please visit betting sites to check and confirm the latest odds.

Liverpool vs Villarreal head-to-head

The two teams have met on the European stage only once before. Incidentally, it was the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League in the 2015-16 season. Villarreal won the first leg at the Estadio de la Ceramica, Liverpool turned the tables with a 3-0 win in the second leg at Anfield to enter the final.

Incidentally Liverpool went on to lose to Sevilla, then coached by Emery, in the Europa final that term.

Liverpool vs Villarreal UEFA Champions League 2021-22 top picks and players to watch

Liverpool: Chasing a quadruple this season, the entire Liverpool team has been in top form this campaign and Klopp has no dearth of match-winners in his squad. However, with Villarreal boasting a tight well-drilled setup at the bag, Mohamed Salah’s pace to run behind the Yellow wall will be key to Liverpool taking a lead into the second leg. The Egyptian is Liverpool’s top scorer this season and has already netted eight times in the UCL this season.

Villarreal: Under Emery, Villarreal has developed a reputation of being a tough team to break down and the defence, like always, will be key to the Yellow brigade’s ambitions. Villarreal’s central defensive pairing of Pau Torres and Raul Albiol can play a pivotal role in the tie.

Liverpool vs Villarreal UEFA Champions League 2021-22 prediction

Liverpool will go into the first leg as outright favourites based on their current form and abundance of stars in their line-up. Though only seventh in the La Liga table, Villarreal have already proven, not once but twice, that they can upset some of Europe’s best on the continental stage and Liverpool cannot afford to take their task at hand lightly despite being the odds on favourites.