Liverpool vs Villarreal: Roberto Firmino is likely to miss the Champions League semifinal first leg for the Reds

Roberto Firmino, who scored twice in the second leg of the 3-3 draw against Benfica, could be the only player to miss the match against Villarreal.

Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino; Credit: Twitter/@LFC
By Karthik Raman | Apr 26, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has more or less the entire squad to select from for the crucial Champions League semifinal on Wednesday night. The Reds welcome Spanish side Villarreal to Anfield for the first leg in which the home side are the heavy favourites. Nonetheless, the defending Europa League champions cannot be taken lightly. After stunning Italian giants, Juventus in the last-16, mighty Bayern Munich awaited them in the quarter-finals. Despite all the odds were against them, Villarreal never gave in and produced a major shock.

The first leg saw the Spanish club win 1-0 and the Germans were lucky to escape with a narrow defeat. In the second leg, Unai Emery’s side earned a late draw to book their semifinal passage. Liverpool, on the other hand, overcame Benfica in the quarterfinals, which proved to be an entertaining goal rush. The Reds won the tie 6-4 on aggregate. Roberto Firmino, who scored twice in the second leg of the 3-3 draw, could be the only player to miss the match against Villarreal.

The Brazilian forward picked up a foot injury against Manchester City at Wembley in the FA Cup, which forced him to miss their last two matches. “I don’t think [he is ready] yet,” Klopp told on Tuesday. “He is running outside and that’s good, obviously, but I am not sure. Maybe somebody will surprise me afterwards and tell me, ‘Yes, Bobby is in.’ [I will have] open arms, but I don’t think so. Apart from that, no [new injuries] that I know yet.”

READ MORE – Liverpool vs Villarreal: Champions League Schedule, Fixture, Probable Lineups and Live Streaming details

Question marks hang over Gerard Moreno’s fitness

On the other hand, Villarreal will be without the services of injured Yeremy Pino and former Liverpool left-back Alberto Moreno, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in early March. It will also be interesting to see if centre-forward Gerard Moreno manages to recover from a hamstring issue on time.  

“Yeremy Pino is going to be missing, he has an injury that is dragging on,” Unai Emery said at his pre-match press conference. “He trained yesterday but he won’t be able to play. Gerard Moreno is working well, and the idea is that he will pick up the pace tomorrow. Francis Coquelin has trained as normal.”

Jurgen Klopp on Unai Emery: A detail-obsessed manager

Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp, in his pre-match press conference, spoke about what possible threat Villarreal can pose. “Of course we did the proper analysis. I had a lot of respect for Unai Emery and Villarreal before, because I saw the games but only with one eye against Bayern, Juve a little bit. But meanwhile, I watched them properly and, wow, impressive. Unai looks like, if you watch his team, a detail-obsessed manager who prepares for all different situations in a game and that’s what his team is executing,” he added. 

“It’s really, really good – different ways to build-up, different ways to press, different ways to react on different results. Really, really impressive. Obviously Unai is a world-class coach and is doing an incredible job there. So saying that, the good thing about all the analyse is we are not involved in these games. We have to fit in us then and our job has to be that we must make life as difficult as possible for them as well. That’s what we try to do over these two legs.”

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