Liverpool and Villarreal CF are set to meet in the midweek in the first leg of a Champions League pick semi-final, with the winner of Manchester City and Real Madrid waiting in the Final.
The match will kick off Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. ET at Anfield in Liverpool, England.
Liverpool vs Villarreal Stats
The team has garnered a reputation as one of the most feared clubs in the world because of their ever-potent attack and relentless style of play. Every member of the Reds’ team seems to have three lungs, which they use to apply never-ending pressure in attack and press high up the pitch to win the ball back defensively.
They have won three matches in a row, including a 3-2 victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup, and are unbeaten in their last 10 matches. On top of that, they have only improved recently with the addition of January signing Luis Diaz, a tricky winger with pace and a perfect balance of selfishness and team-friendly play.
Liverpool is in the best form of any major team in the entire world, and in any normal scenario, it would go without question that they would defeat a lower-tier opponent; however, this one particular opponent could be the exception to the rule.
Villarreal CF Stats
Villarreal has built a reputation in recent years as a European juggernaut, even if they have not been able to find much domestic success in Spain. A lot of this may be attributed to manager Unai Emery, a four-time Europa League winner, most recently last season when Villarreal defeated Manchester United.
The Spaniards do not have a team with many household names, but they do have lots of solid, steadfast talents that function well as a team and are capable of digging in deep to produce results; the best example of this would be their recent campaign against Bayern Munich, which they won 2-1 on aggregate to book their spot in the semi-final.
Villarreal is unbeaten in its last five outings and has won two matches consecutively— they also have the benefit of time off, having not played a game since Tuesday, April 19th, whereas Liverpool was just in action on Sunday.
Liverpool vs Villarreal Betting Trends
Champions League betting odds favor Liverpool fairly heavily; not only do the Reds have an outstanding home record there, but team vice-captain Virgil Van Dijk has never lost a match there during his tenure with the club.
As previously mentioned, however, Villarreal went on the road to Munich and snagged a result against one of the most intimidating clubs in the world, so they will be unphased by the usual pressure of the stadium.
Liverpool vs Villarreal Betting Predictions
Liverpool’s biggest advantage has always been its front three, and now that Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz have been added to the mix, they will be able to bring on fresh legs around the 60-minute mark to keep the pressure firmly on the Villarreal defense.
The Spanish club has not faced any team with the same amount of pace that Liverpool has, so whether or not they hold up will come down almost [purely to if they can handle the speed and aggression of their opponent’s attack.
Villarreal gave up 68% possession to Bayern Munich when they crossed the border to Germany, and a similar figure can be expected in the impending match.
Granted, they knew they held an advantage in the previous matchup, but it is hard to imagine the underdogs stepping on the gas and leaving themselves vulnerable in defense against such a potent matchup.
All in all, Liverpool is the rightful favorite, but it is unlikely that they will ring up the goals as they do against most teams— watch for the Reds to snag a 1-0 result heading into the second leg.
Champions League odds have Liverpool as the favorite in the first leg of a semi-final matchup with Villarreal CF, but if they have been paying attention, they will know that their opponent, albeit small in name, packs a real punch in European competitions.