Villarreal v Liverpool betting tips: Reds can reign again in Spain
Preview, odds and Villarreal v Liverpool betting tips
Liverpool are on the verge of a third Champions League final in five seasons ahead of the second leg of their semi-final as we pick out some Villarreal v Liverpool betting tips.
The Reds were deserving 2-0 winners at Anfield and it would be a major surprise if they fail to get the job done in Spain.
The return match takes place at Estadio de la Ceramica on Wednesday with an 8pm kick-off and is live on BT Sport.
Reds on easy street
An own goal from Pervis Estupinan and Sadio Mane’s 20th of the season in a three-minute second-half spell did the damage in the first leg and the only criticism which could be levelled at Jurgen Klopp’s side was that they should have scored more.
The scoreline did not reflect the pattern of the game, which the Premier League side dominated from the first minute to the last in what was a more comfortable tie than they could have expected.
After a goalless first half, in which the Reds attempted 12 shots, the match was won in the space of 133 seconds.
It was just one of those nights ❤️
Anfield rocking. Liverpool dominating. Allez Allez Allez.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 28, 2022
Liverpool have now won nine matches in the Champions League this season, a club record for a single campaign, and in doing so they equalled the landmark of 43 victories in a season set in 2019-20.
Villarreal need new plan
Villarreal boss Unai Emery may have been satisfied to hold out until the second half at Anfield but it always seemed a matter of time before they went behind.
A goalless draw looked the best the Yellow Submarine could hope for on Merseyside given the visitors failed to register a shot on target in the game.
The two goals Villarreal managed against Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals plus the four they put past Juventus in the round of 16 suggest they are capable of being more attacking.
This time though the onus is on Villarreal to attack and that could play into the hands of Liverpool, who won 3-1 at Benfica and 2-0 at Inter Milan in their last two away games in this competition.
"They [Liverpool] are going to suffer more than tonight in Villarreal."
Unai Emery insists he'll change a few things about his side as they look to overhaul a two-goal deficit on home soil.
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 27, 2022
Emery said: “They were better than us, they have been better over the 90 minutes. We wanted to play a better game, create better chances on goal for ourselves, but we needed to be on the defensive a lot.
“We didn’t create any chances at all, we never got near their goal. Two-nil is a clear, obvious result, a deserved result.
“It could have been a worse hill to climb. The only thing now is 2-0 still gives us a chance to have a different performance at home. We are still alive.”
Liverpool may ease off
Liverpool will be keen to book their place in the final with a minimum of fuss during a hectic last few weeks of the season.
A raft of substitutions followed after the Reds went 2-0 up at Anfield as Klopp rotated his players ahead of the Premier League game at Newcastle on Saturday.
Ideally he would like to be in a position to do the same ahead of a tricky test at home to Tottenham as the pursuit of an historic quadruple continues.
Klopp has warned against complacency ahead of the second leg, saying: “It is a dangerous scoreline. How much work is left to do? The full work is still to do. Nothing has happened yet.
“Everyone could see we fought with all we have. We played a really good game, now in six days we play again and we have to make sure we are ready.
“We are 2-0 up and that’s better than before the game but we know we’re not through. So keep going, no problem.”
The Reds to win the first half at 5/4 looks a solid addition to our Villarreal v Liverpool betting tips while 11/1 for them to lead at half-time and fail to win is worth considering if Klopp opts to take his star players off once the tie is effectively over.
Villarreal v Liverpool team news
There was some positive news for Villarreal with striker Gerard Moreno, who missed the first leg, back after injury, although they will be missing former Bournemouth winger Arnaut Danjuma who is ill.
Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has not fully recovered from a foot injury and will again be absent after missing the last four matches. He has travelled with the squad to Spain but is not in contention.
Forward Divock Origi returns after illness ruled him out at the weekend, while centre-back Ibrahima Konate, Thiago Alcantara, Fabinho and Mohamed Salah – all rested for Saturday’s win at Newcastle – are set to return.
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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication