It’s Liverpool vs Villarreal later today in a massive UEFA Champions League semi-final. Here’s our predicted lineup for the game.
The hellacious week continues, then. Liverpool had an intense Merseyside derby against Everton on Sunday and now it’s a Champions League semi-final. That’s not all Jurgen Klopp will have on his mind, though – the Reds face Newcastle United under 72 hours after the Villarreal clash.
Liverpool will likely rotate a little as a result here. After all, this is a two-leg fixture where the Reds can afford to play over 180 minutes. They can’t quite do that in the Premier League, where it appears any slip-up is fatal.
So, with all of that in mind, here’s how we think Liverpool will lineup vs Villarreal tonight.
Liverpool vs Villarreal
Alisson Becker will certainly start in goal, while Virgil van Dijk is going to be one of the centre-backs. Trent Alexander-Arnold is a safe bet for right-back, too, given Liverpool don’t really have any alternative anyway.
Left-back is a little less certain. We’d be shocked if Andy Robertson didn’t start but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Kostas Tsimikas gets the nod, given the fixture congestion. We imagine he’ll play at the weekend, however.
As for Van Dijk’s partner, Liverpool will reportedly recall Ibrahima Konaté. It makes sense, too – he’s been brilliant in the Champions League. Jamie Carragher labelled him ‘excellent’ for his display against Inter and we hope to see a similar one here.
The ‘underrated’ Jordan Henderson, in the words of Virgil van Dijk, feels like the only certainty here. He didn’t start against Everton, which pretty much guarantees the nod for Liverpool against Villarreal.
The other two are tough, though. Fabinho and Thiago are the first-choice selections but they’ve played a lot lately. We’ll still back Fabinho to start but Thiago? He might sit this one out for Naby Keita. It’s just a lot of football lately for a player who isn’t the easiest for Liverpool to manage.
Mohamed Salah starts every game, so he feels like an obvious one here. The other two forwards are a complete guess, though. Liverpool consistently rotate them, both positionally and in personnel.
Luis Diaz starting on the bench vs Everton feels like a clue, though, so we’ll put him in. It’s difficult to leave out eith Sadio Mané or Diogo Jota but we’ll go for the former – he’s just in spectacular form. You can never be certain what Klopp will do, however.