Liverpool vs Villarreal – Pinnacle Soccer Betting Preview
The second match of the two-legged Europa League semifinal showdown between English Premier League side Liverpool and Spanish La Liga club Villarreal takes place at Anfield this Thursday, May 5th. Villarreal won the first meeting 1-0 at home last week on a last-minute goal in injury time. Liverpool reached the final four by eliminating Borussia Dortmund of the German Bundesliga 5-4 on aggregate in dramatic fashion in the quarterfinals while Villarreal downed Sparta Prague 6-3. Liverpool and Dortmund drew 1-1 in Germany in their first match with the Reds storming from behind for a 4-3 victory in the second. Meanwhile, Villarreal downed Prague 2-1 at home and 4-2 on the road.
Liverpool vs Villarreal – Betting Line:
- Pinnacle currently lists Liverpool as the favorites to win the 90-minute match at -131 with Villarreal +443 and a draw at +273
Liverpool last played over in Wales on Sunday and were beaten 3-1 by Swansea City. The Reds currently sit in eighth place in the Premier League with 55 points from 15 wins, 10 draws and 10 losses. They’ve scored 59 goals and allowed 48 against and sit nine points behind fourth-place Manchester City with just three games to go in the season. Liverpool has now lost just once in European competition so far this season with their defeat last Thursday. The team also has five wins and seven draws in the Europa League this campaign and were the last team to lose a game in the tournament.
Villarreal is currently in fourth place in the Spanish La Liga with 64 points from 18 wins, 10 draws and eight losses with 44 goals scored and 31 allowed. They’re 20 points behind third-place Real Madrid and 21 back of co-leaders Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Villarreal last played to a 2-0 away victory over Valencia on Sunday. Villarreal may have to play without Baptistao, Jaume Costa and Musacchio as they’re all listed as questionable. Liverpool’s doubtful players include Emre Can, Joe Gomez, Jordan Henderson, Danny Ings, Origi and Jordan Rossiter.
Villarreal has scored 23 goals so far in the tournament while Liverpool has 15. This is the first time the two sides have met in European competition. However, they played to a 0-0 friendly in Spain back in 2008. Villarreal has played 14 times against English teams with a record of four wins, six draws and four losses. They have one win, two draws and three losses in England. Villarreal won their first three contests against English outfits, and then went winless in 10 encounters with six draws and four losses before downing Liverpool last week.
Liverpool has played 33 games against Spanish sides with 13 wins, 10 draws and 10 losses with four victories, six draws and five defeats at home at Anfield. Villarreal is unbeaten in their past 12 Europa League fixtures with eight wins and four draws. Liverpool has four victories and two draws at home so far in this campaign. Villarreal’s best showing in the Europa League in the best was a semifinal loss in 2003/04 and 2010/11. Liverpool’s last appearance in a Europa League final four was in 2009/10.
If Liverpool wins the game 1-0 it will go to 30 minutes of extra time and then a penalty shootout if it isn’t settled. If Liverpool wins by one goal by any other score then Villarreal will advance to the Final on the away-goals rule. The Spanish side will also go through with a win or draw. The winner of this series will face the winner of the Sevilla vs Shakhtar Donetsk semifinal and meet in the Europa League Final at St. Jakob Park in Basel, Switzerland on Wednesday, May 18th.