After Liverpool’s 5-4 win against Borussia Dortmund, the Merseyside club have been drawn to play against Spanish outfit Villarreal in the semi-finals of the Europa-League.
Liverpool will travel to Villarreal’s Estadio El Madrigal on the 28th April for the first leg of the semi-finals, and the second leg on 5th May at Anfield.
Villarreal will be a different proposition for Liverpool, and must not be taken for granted, having beaten both Madrid clubs in La Liga this season and also knocking Napoli out of the Europa League.
Villarreal boss Marcelino Garcia had this to say of the semi-final tie, “Liverpool have a great history and play in unique surroundings. We will have a wonderful challenge. We have got this far on merit, and now we want to go one further.”
Balague told Sky Sports about Villarreal, saying, “They are a club who don’t demand too much, the expectations aren’t huge and players love playing there,” he continued, “But now they’ve got to a point where they’ve got to show if they’ve got what it takes to get to the next level, to show if they can consistently play in European competitions at this stage.”
“But Liverpool are favourites in my mind, but let’s remember they made their lives very difficult against Borussia Dortmund, and there are not always miracles.”
“If Villarreal can control the game and counter attack, they will be dangerous. Individually, they are stronger than Liverpool, but I get the feeling Liverpool have found a dynamic, a mental strength to see them through.”
“He’s different to the Roberto Soldado who was here in England, the one who didn’t pass and didn’t score,” added Balague. “Before he went to Spurs he was a goalscorer, now he helps more with assists. He drops deeper, and helps others to score.”
Jurgen Klopp must now turn his attention to the Premier league games against Bournemouth (away), Everton and Newcastle (at home) as they try to climb up the league table.