The first match of the two-legged Europa League semifinal showdown between English Premier League team Liverpool and Spanish La Liga side kicks off in Spain this Thursday, April 28th. Liverpool reached the final four by eliminating Borussia Dortmund of the German Bundesliga 5-4 on aggregate in dramatic fashion in the quarterfinals while Villarreal downed Sparta Prague 6-3. Liverpool and Dortmund drew 1-1 in Germany in their first match with the Reds coming from behind for a 4-3 victory in the second. Villarreal downed Prague 2-1 at home and 4-2 on the road.
Bet on Villarreal vs Liverpool – Pinnacle Sports Soccer Betting Line:
- Pinnacle Sports currently lists Villarreal as the favorites to win the match at +157 with Liverpool +207 and a draw at +228
Liverpool last played at home on Saturday with the result being a 2-2 draw against lowly Newcastle United after blowing an early 2-0 lead. The Reds currently sit in seventh place in the Premier League with 55 points from 15 wins, 10 draws and nine losses. They’ve scored 58 goals and allowed 45 against and sit nine points behind fourth-place Arsenal with just four games to go in the season. Liverpool is undefeated in European competition so far this season and overcame from a 3-1 deficit at home against Dortmund in their last match. The team has five wins and seven draws in the Europa League this campaign and is the only undefeated club remaining in the tournament.
Villarreal is currently in fourth place in the Spanish La Liga with 61 points from 17 wins, 10 draws and eight losses with 42 goals scored and 31 allowed. They’re 20 points behind third-place Real Madrid and 21 back of co-leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Villarreal last played to a 0-0 home draw with Real Sociedad on Sunday. Villarreal may have to play without Baptistao, Jaume Costa and Musacchio as they’re all listed as questionable. Liverpool’s doubtful players include Christian Benteke, Emre Can, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, Danny Ings, Origi and Jordan Rossiter.
Villarreal has scored 22 goals so far in the tournament while Liverpool has 15. This is the first time the two sides will be meeting in European competition. However, they played to a 0-0 friendly in Spain back in 2008. Villarreal has played 13 times against English teams with a record of three wins, six draws and four losses. They have two victories at home along with four draws and a defeat with one win, two draws and three losses in England. Villarreal won their first three contests against English outfits, but is now winless in their past 10 encounters with six draws and four losses.
Liverpool has played 32 games against Spanish sides with 13 wins, 10 draws and nine losses. They have four victories, six draws and five defeats at home at Anfield with seven wins, four draws and four losses on foreign soil. Two of the road wins were in neutral territory in Cup Final victories. Villarreal is unbeaten in their past 11 Europa League fixtures with eight wins and three draws. They’ve won all six of their home matches and have allowed just one goal against in them. Liverpool has one victory and five draws away from home so far this campaign. Villarreal’s best showing in the Europa League in the best was a semifinal loss in 2003/04 and 2010/11. Liverpool’s last appearance in a Europa League final four was in 2009/10.