Dietmar Hamann states prediction for Liverpool v Villarreal
Dietmar Hamann believes the Anfield factor will have an important role to play in Liverpool v Villarreal
Dietmar Hamann believes the Anfield factor can help get Liverpool over the line against Villarreal on Thursday night.
The Reds host the La Liga outfit for the second leg of their Europa League semi-final after a 1-0 defeat by the Yellow Submarine at Estadio El Madrigal last week.
Adrian Lopez’s added-time winner condemned Liverpool to a first Europa League loss of the season ahead of the return leg at Anfield.
However, former Reds midfielder, who won the Uefa Cup and the Champions League during his time at the Merseyside club, talked up Liverpool’s chances ahead of Thursday night’s last-four clash.
“The crowd will be behind the team and I don’t think Villarreal will have faced a crowd like this because it has been a long time since they’ve been in the Champions League and in the latter stages of a European competition – nerves may set in,” Hamann told Liverpool’s website.
“If you look at the stats, it’s not actually that much of an advantage playing the second leg at home because I think, in the last four or five years, very few teams who played the second leg at home did go to the final.
“But I think the physiological factor is probably bigger. When you talk about home advantage, the pitch is no different from over there but the fans can make a big difference because we’ve seen that against Dortmund.
“I don’t think we would have turned the tie around without the fans.
“When Villarreal walk down the tunnel, I think there might be one or two players who think ‘I’m not sure whether I fancy this’ – this is what you have to exploit and take advantage of and the fans play a big part in that as always.”
Jurgen Klopp, 48, replaced Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager last October.
His Dortmund outfit won the Bundesliga in 2010/11, scooped a double the next campaign and lost to Bayern Munich in the 2013 Champions League final.
Klopp’s record in 12 meetings with Spanish opposition (with 1. FSV Mainz 05, Dortmund and Liverpool) stands at W4 D3 L5. His sides have won their last four home games against Liga teams.