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Liverpool vs Villarreal in the Champions League on April 26.2022 – Odds & Prediction

Liverpool vs Villarreal in the Champions League on April 26.2022 – Odds & Prediction

A spot in the 2022 Champions League final is at stake when Liverpool and Villarreal meet over two legs this April and May, and there is a noticeable gulf in pedigree between the English and Spanish sides when it comes to the elite European competition.

Liverpool have had their hands on the European Cup six times throughout their history, whereas the Yellow Submarine will be making just their second appearance in the semi-finals, looking to build on a 2006 defeat to Arsenal at the same stage.

For the Reds it’s all eyes on the mythical quadruple – a feat that hasn’t been achieved by an English side – as they attempt to build on their EFL Cup win with the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League titles.

Villarreal are attempting their own piece of history in reaching the Champions League final for the first time in their history and looking for back-to-back silverware after triumphing in last season’s Europa League.

Continue reading for our expert football betting tips for the clash.

MarketPrediction
To Win To NilLiverpool
bet365
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Liverpool to win to nil

Liverpool’s recent form has been, quite frankly, ridiculous.

Jurgen Klopp has his Reds peaking at the perfect moment this season as they fight on four fronts to write their names further into the history books.

They’ve lost just three matches since being knocked out of last season’s Champions League to Real Madrid way back in April, 2021 – away to West Ham United and Leicester City in the Premier League, and a 1-0 home loss to Inter whilst still winning the tie.

Villarreal are plucky fighters under Emery and won’t be overawed by the magnitude of the tie, but their four losses to nil across their last nine away matches in all comps doesn’t look happy reading for the visitors to Anfield here.

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With that in mind, we can’t ignore the odds of 11/10 (Betway) as well available with all of the reliable sports betting websites – for a Liverpool to win to nil.
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Liverpool form, squad news, opinion

Barring a small injury to Roberto Firmino, Liverpool are pretty much at a full compliment throughout their squad.

Their recruitment over the last couple of windows has been close to perfection and now have a dangerous quintet of forwards to rotate in Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz, Sadio Mane, Diogo Jota and the previously mentioned Firmino.

Their defence is also proving pretty hard to breach at Anfield, with six of their last nine wins on home turf being accompanied by a clean sheet.

It’s hard to argue that Liverpool aren’t playing the most exciting and complete football across Europe at present, but the proof will be in the pudding as they embark on yet another European semi-final.

Villarreal form, squad news, opinion

Villarreal’s fortunes in this tie could well depend on the fitness of their star striker Gerard Moreno.

The 30-year-old has hit double figures for the Yellow Submarine over the last three seasons and was forced off with a hamstring injury against Getafe at the weekend.

Despite struggling with a number of injuries this season, Moreno is such a key man for Unai Emery, underlined at the weekend with his seventh-minute strike before having to be substituted.

Villarreal sit seventh following a fairly positive campaign in La Liga, with much of their concentration now placed on this rare Champions League run. They have won just four of their 16 away matches in the league scoring just 15 goals, so there will be obvious concerns when travelling to Merseyside.

Their unlikely victory over Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals feels like the peak of their story, but Emery will be determined to write another unlikely chapter.

History

Liverpool and Villarreal’s only previous meeting came at the semi-final stage of the 2015/16 Europa League.

Over two legs, Liverpool came out on top 3-1 on aggregate, overturning a 1-0 defeat in Spain from the opening leg courtesy of an own goal and strikes from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana.

But in terms of history in European competition, Liverpool are head and shoulders above the Yellow Submarine.

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The Reds have six Champions League, three UEFA Cups and four UEFA Super Cup trophies to their name, whereas Villarreal only have last seasons Europa League win to their name as well as two Intertoto Cup wins in 2003 and 2004.

Managers Jurgen Klopp and Unai Emery have met on five occasions throughout their careers, with the German winning three, one draw and Emery taking one.

About the Venue

Anfield has a capacity of close to 54,000, and this will undoubtedly be a sell-out as the home faithful will turn out in their numbers for another historic semi-final.

As we’ve come to expect on European nights at Anfield, they will create a special atmosphere, particularly if the team respond and give them something to get behind the team.

That in turn usually involves Klopp’s men making a fast start and putting the opposition under pressure, and with a cauldron-like feeling, it will be another factor that Villarreal will have to manage and avoid becoming influential.

Conclusion

Villarreal’s plucky underdog story has been stunning, going from an unlikely Europa League title to Champions League semi-final in back-to-back seasons.

As good as the Yellow Submarine have been in tearing up the form book, it’s hard to envisage them toppling this Liverpool side on current form.

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Their aggressive press and ability to control football matches at Anfield should lend itself to a fairly routine win in this Champions League semi-final first leg, despite the pressures of all that is up for grabs.
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