Phil Thompson states prediction for Liverpool v Villarreal

Phil Thompson believes Liverpool will qualify for the Europa League final on Thursday night

Phil Thompson is backing Liverpool to beat Villarreal and qualify for the Europa League final on Thursday night.

The Reds host the La Liga outfit a week after the Spanish side were 1-0 winners at Estadio El Madrigal to seize a slender aggregate lead ahead of the Anfield leg.

Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side had 15 attempts on Villarreal’s goal but couldn’t make the breakthrough before Adrian Lopez scored an added-time winner.

Former Reds captain Thompson, who won the European Cup three times under Bob Paisley, wasn’t impressed with Villarreal’s over-zealous celebrations last week.

And the Sky Sports pundit is backing Liverpool to capitalise on their Anfield advantage and reach the Europa League final for the first time.

“I don’t think there was anything to frighten Liverpool,” Thompson told Sky Sports. “I know they have a great defensive record but that’s mainly at home.

“I think the way the celebrated the 1-0 scoreline like they were through would have been a big motivation for Liverpool and I think they will go through.”

Klopp, 48, replaced Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager last October.

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His Dortmund outfit won the Bundesliga in 2010/11, scooped a double the next campaign and lost to FC Bayern München in the 2013 Champions League final.

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