Guillem Balague sends warning to Jurgen Klopp ahead of Liverpool FC v Villarreal
Guillem Balague warns Liverpool FC that Villarreal shouldn't be underestimated ahead of their Champions League semi-final
Guillem Balague has warned Jurgen Klopp that his Liverpool FC team shouldn’t underestimate Villarreal ahead of the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at Anfield on Wednesday night.
Liverpool FC are looking to reach their third Champions League final under Klopp after the German head coach took over the reins from Brendan Rodgers back in October 2015 following his successful stint at Borussia Dortmund.
The Reds lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in the Champions League showpiece in Istanbul in 2018 before Liverpool FC lifted the European Cup for the sixth time a year later after a 2-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid.
Villarreal may be seventh in the Spanish top flight but the Yellow Submarine have plenty of European pedigree after they beat Liverpool FC’s bitter rivals Manchester United in the Europa League final last year.
Arsenal scraped past Villarreal in the Champions League semi-finals in 2006 after the Spanish side missed a late penalty to let the Gunners off the hook before Arsene Wenger’s side lost to FC Barcelona in the final.
Emery, who spent two and a half years in charge of Arsenal, has won four Uefa Europa League trophies as well as finishing as a runner up with the Gunners in Europe’s second tier club competition.
La Liga expert Balague warned the Reds that Villarreal have “a chance” at reaching a first-ever Champions League final.
“Villarreal are from a village of 50,000 people but have the fourth biggest wage in Spain,” Balague told BBC Sport. “We shouldn’t be surprised they are succeeding.
“But it is the semi – you don’t get there by chance. Yes, Villarreal have a chance.”
Liverpool FC beat Villarreal in the Europa League semi-finals in 2016 before losing to Sevilla 3-1 in the final as Klopp finished his first season at Anfield without a trophy.
The Reds will continue their quest to win a second Premier League title with a trip to Newcastle United on Saturday lunchtime.