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Where are they now: Liverpool's XI that faced Villarreal six years ago

Liverpool will be hoping to get passed Villarreal and reach their third Champions League final during Jurgen Klopp’s tenure.

After beating Juventus and Bayern Munich in the knockout stages, Unai Emery’s Yellow Submarine have set up a last-four tie with the Anfield side who are chasing an unprecedented quadruple.

The La Liga side will be hoping to produce yet another giant-killing against the red half of Merseyside.

The two sides faced one and other in the Europa League semi-finals six years ago where Klopp’s men progressed to the final before being beaten by fellow La Liga side Sevilla.

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That was Klopp’s first season in charge after taking the reins at Anfield and Liverpool finished that season eighth in the Premier League.

But back on 5 May 2016 at Anfield, in the Europa League semi-final second leg, Liverpool needed to overturn a 1-0 deficit following the defeat at the El Madrigal.

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Liverpool won 3-0 on the night and advanced to the final, but here we take a look at where the players who started the game are right now…

Simon Mignolet

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The Belgian stopper remained at Anfield before moving back to his homeland with Club Brugge in August 2019.

The 34-year-old seemed to be Klopp’s number one before being replaced by Loris Karius during the 2017/18 campaign.

Mignolet’s last Premier League appearance under Klopp came on New Year’s Day in 2018 when he captained the side at Burnley.

As soon as Alisson Becker arrived at the club, it was clear that Mignolet had next to no prospect of featuring in the Premier League or Champions League.

Nathaniel Clyne

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After being snapped up from Southampton, Clyne was Klopp’s first-choice right-back for two seasons.

But after suffering a back injury in the 2017/18 campaign, the 14-time England international was ruled out for the majority of the campaign.

Clyne’s absence resulted in the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold and the 31-year-old never managed to wrestle back control of the starting berth.

After spending the second half of the 2018/19 campaign on loan at Bournemouth, Clyne returned to Crystal Palace on a free transfer in 2020, the club he came through at as an academy graduate.

Kolo Toure

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The Ivorian left Anfield in the summer of 2016 before linking up with former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers at Celtic.

The centre-back made 17 appearances for the Hoops before calling time on his playing career. The 118-cap Ivory Coast international is currently Rodgers’ assistant manager at Leicester City.

Dejan Lovren

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It was the Croatian international’s injury time winner which sent Liverpool through to the Europa League semi-finals at the expense of Klopp’s former side Borussia Dortmund.

Lovren was a regular alongside Virgil van Dijk at the heart of Liverpool’s defence before Joel Matip and Joe Gomez started to jump ahead of the former Southampton man in the pecking order.

The 32-year-old is currently playing for Russian side Zenit St Petersburg after leaving Liverpool in the summer of 2020.

Alberto Moreno

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The Spaniard who plays for Villarreal will miss out on a reunion with Klopp’s Liverpool due to being ruled out with a cruciate knee ligament injury.

The 29-year-old fell down the Liverpool pecking order when the club made the astute decision to sign the flying Scotsman Andy Robertson from Hull City in the summer of 2017.

Robertson loves to bomb forward like Moreno but he is far more defensively disciplined and has arguably been the world’s best and most consistent left-back in recent years.

James Milner

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One of two survivors from the side who played against Villarreal six years ago, Milner remains a part of Klopp’s side but he is very much so a squad player now.

Since joining from Manchester City on a free transfer in July 2015, Milner has made 284 appearances for the English giants, but with his contract expiring at the end of the season, the all-action versatile midfielder will be hoping to bow out with several medals around his neck.

Milner’s time on the pitch may have decreased year on year, but he remains a key part of the dressing room.

Emre Can

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Despite being a key part of Klopp’s side, the German left the club on a free transfer and joined Italian giants Juventus in 2018.

The 28-year-old is now plying his trade back in the Bundesliga with Klopp’s former club Dortmund.

The German international made 167 appearances for Liverpool after joining from Bayer Leverkusen.

Adam Lallana

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Another played who was signed from Southampton, Lallana spent six years at Anfield before making the move back down south with Brighton & Hove Albion.

Lallana struggled with injuries but he was also having to fight for a place against the likes of Sadio Mane, Phillippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah.

The 33-year-old made 178 appearances for Liverpool and scored 22 goals. One of those goals was Liverpool’s third in the 3-0 win against Villarreal six years ago.

Roberto Firmino

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The Brazilian occupied the number 10 role in the second leg against Villarreal back in 2016, and alongside Milner he is the only remaining player to still be part of the squad that last faced the La Liga side.

The 30-year-old has formed a key part of Liverpool’s devastating trio alongside Mane and Salah in recent years.

But following the signings of Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz, Liverpool’s number nine isn’t being used as frequently as he was in previous campaigns.

Philippe Coutinho

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Coutinho’s big money move to Barcelona in the 2018 January transfer window didn’t work out for the Brazilian, but it allowed Liverpool to sign Alisson and Van Dijk.

The Brazilian may have picked up a Champions League winner’s medal during his loan spell at Bayern Munich, but the 29-year-old has found himself back in the Premier League.

Liverpool’s former South American wizard is currently on loan at Aston Villa and showing glimpses of his best form under Liverpool legend and former teammate Steven Gerrard.

Daniel Sturridge

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Oh how the 32-year-old’s career could have played out differently if he hadn’t been riddled with injury issues.

The left-footer was a revelation alongside Luis Suarez in the 2013/14 season where he netted 22 Premier League goals.

Sturridge scored the crucial second against Marcelino’s Villarreal side back in 2016. But after a loan spell at West Brom and a move to Turkey with Trabzonspor, Sturridge is currently playing his football Down Under with Perth Glory.

But he is currently out injured with a groin injury.

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