Liverpool’s trip to Spain in Europe’s second tier competition ended in a 1-0 draw with a late winner from Adrian giving Villarreal a slight advantage travelling to Anfield this week. The second-leg of the tie, the crucial one will go to extra time only with a 1-0 score-line and Liverpool, who have looked sharp in recent games with the senior side will look to finish things in normal time.
However, Marcelino’s side proved hard to beat in the first leg and will surely put up a fight at Liverpool. It will be an important game for both sides as this is the only remaining chance to get into the Champions League next season.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will once again be under the scanner for his team selection. Daniel Sturridge played the full 90 minutes without scoring before storming off into the tunnel while fit again Benteke netted a goal on his comeback. It will be interesting to see who he chooses from the two to lead the line for his side or play the same XI from the trip to Spain
Jordan Henderson, Divock Origi, Danny Ings and Joe Gomez are still out injured while defender Mamadou Sakho is out serving a ban. Star midfielder Emre Can has defied all odds to return to training just weeks after an ankle injury and is in contention for a place in this game.
Here is the Liverpool’s expected line-up for the second leg at Anfield.
The Belgian put in a decent shift in the first leg and couldn’t do much about the goal in the end. He will have to be at his best and try and keep a clean sheet to help his side into the final.
One of the few people who will keep their place from the 3-1 drubbing against Swansea, Clyne has been one of the most impressive defenders for the club this season and will start on the night against Villarreal.
Full of confidence with some good performances recently, Lovren will have to be at his best and keep the visitors away from goal to give Liverpool a chance of knocking them out of the competition.
The veteran was found wanting right at the end of the first half but a strong display throughout the game will earn him a place in the starting XI for this game.
The Spaniard was one of the best Liverpool players at Spain a week ago but was once again out of position for the home side’s goal at the end. He will have to be careful on Thursday as Liverpool cannot afford to concede at home.
With injuries to various first choice midfielders, Allen has been given an extended run in the Liverpool starting line-up and will start as the deepest lying midfielder on the night.
The skipper for the side on the night, the ever energetic James Milner will have a huge role to play on the night in the midfield for Liverpool.
The little magician from Brazil found it hard in the first leg in Spain but will be more at home at Anfield and will surely trouble the Villarreal back four all night.
The in-form forward for Liverpool, Firmino has had a great 2016 and also hit the post in the first leg. He will hope to get himself on the score sheet on the night with an important goal for the home side.
Improving game by game, Lallana, though provided very little in attack was superb with his discipline and will be an important part of Klopp’s plans for this game.
Even with all the criticism surrounding him, Sturridge is Liverpool’s biggest goal-threat and will play this game from the starting whistle to give Liverpool a chance of qualification.