Jugen Klopp and Liverpool haven’t won a match since the Merseyside Derby but this upcoming second leg match against Villarreal is a must-win.
They are down 1-0 on aggregate but the match is in Anfield so the team should be confident in being able to score enough goals to move on to the Europa League Final.
Simon Mignolet was not at fault for the goal in the first leg and he in fact had a very good match. There is no denying his shot stopping ability, the problem is his distribution and lack of command of his box.
Nathaniel Clyne is a terrific defender but he does tend to fail to take advantage of crossing opportunities when he gets down the pitch. With a less-than-ideal pairing in the middle of the defense, Clyne’s defensive skills will be even more important.
Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure is the best pair that Klopp has left so both will get another chance on Thursday. They will once again be facing two strikers so they will have to be very aware of the threat that both Roberto Soldado and Cedric Bakambu carry.
Alberto Moreno will have more than a few opportunities to burst forward and his much improved crossing ability should pressure the opposing defenders, hopefully into a couple of mistakes.
Emre Can is somehow in contention to play in this match after suffering an ankle injury in the last round but if he isn’t, Lucas Leiva will take over the midfield duties alongside James Milner and Joe Allen. All three need to work together to control the pace of the match.
Roberto Firmino may not be playing at his ideal position in this formation but he can still have a huge impact on the match. He is a threat all across the front three and his movement should confuse and trouble the Villarreal defenders.
With the Reds down a goal, Daniel Sturridge has to start. Because Divock Origi is injured, the England forward is the one true threat that Klopp has available.
With his excellent movement both with and without the ball, Sturridge will be able to create space for not only himself but also everyone else when Liverpool have possession.
Philippe Coutinho left at half-time in the first leg but he should be ready to go this Thursday. A healthy, motivated Coutinho is almost unstoppable and he has been much more effective in when presented with a goal scoring opportunity.
Via – Lineup Builder