Liverpool vs Villarreal Prediction, Odds, Picks
- Liverpool are now the favorites to win this season’s Champions League
- Villarreal are the underdogs but they should not be written off entirely
- Liverpool may have to remain patient as they search for a first-leg victory
Liverpool vs Villarreal Odds
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Liverpool vs Villarreal Pick
Back a draw at half-time and a Liverpool win at full-time
Villarreal’s defensive aptitude could frustrate the Reds in the opening 45 minutes, but the home team’s class will shine through eventually.
This is an alternative to betting the moneyline – since Liverpool are strong favorites, there is little value to be had in backing a straightforward home win.
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Liverpool’s Ambitious Quadruple Dream Still Alive and Well
Liverpool is a club that has achieved plenty throughout its history, but the 2021/22 campaign could end up being their most successful of all time. With just over a month of the season remaining, the Reds are still in the hunt for four trophies. The League Cup is already safely inside the cabinet at Anfield after a penalty shoot-out victory over Chelsea in the final in February. The Reds will face the same opponents in the FA Cup final in the middle of May.
The two biggest prizes are the Premier League title and the Champions League. Liverpool trail Manchester City by one point in the race for the first. In Europe, Jurgen Klopp’s side have now overtaken City as the favorites to lift the trophy. That is in large part because they have an easier draw in the semi-finals, but it also reflects how well Liverpool have played for most of 2022.
The Reds have shown many different sides to their game of late. When they drew 2-2 with City in the Premier League earlier this month, they had to dig deep and withstand heavy pressure before edging their way back into the contest. A week later Liverpool outclassed Pep Guardiola’s men in the FA Cup semi-finals.
A few days after that victory at Wembley, they demolished Manchester United 4-0 at Anfield. Ralf Rangnick’s charges were abject, but Liverpool played some scintillating soccer and could have won by an even bigger margin. And while they had to bide their time against Everton last time out, Klopp’s side ultimately got the job done in a 2-0 win. This Liverpool team will take some stopping in every competition.
Villarreal Have Shown They Can Deliver Major Shocks
It is inarguable that Villarreal are the weakest team remaining in the competition. While City and Liverpool go toe-to-toe in the Premier League, and Real Madrid get ready to celebrate a La Liga title triumph, the Yellow Submarine sit seventh in the Spanish top-tier table. Unless they go on to win the Champions League, they will need to finish in the top six of La Liga to qualify for continental competition next term.
Yet anyone who has followed the Champions League this season will know that Villarreal should not be written off. Unai Emery, their manager, is a master at knockout soccer. He guided his current club to Europa League glory last season, having previously won the tournament three times with Sevilla and reached another final with Arsenal. Excluding his time at Paris Saint-Germain, Emery has won 21 consecutive two-legged ties in Europe.
Villarreal have pulled off some shocks already this term. The current Juventus side is by no means a vintage one, but the ruthless manner in which they were dispatched by Emery’s men in the round of 16 was a sight to behold.
Even more impressive was Villarreal’s 2-1 aggregate victory over Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals. Emery outwitted Julian Nagelsmann, rightly seen as one of the brightest coaching minds in Europe. It was by no means a smash and grab: Villarreal were the better team over 180 minutes.
Liverpool Might Have To Be Patient in Search of First-leg Win
Villarreal cannot match Liverpool for individual quality, and for all Emery’s acumen he is not quite in Klopp’s class. Yet the Spanish side can certainly make life difficult for the Reds on Wednesday. Emery will have witnessed how Everton were able to frustrate Liverpool for the first hour of Sunday’s Merseyside derby, and he will have been working hard on a game plan to try and negate the Reds’ strengths.
Villarreal may also have the advantage of fresher minds. They have now put all their eggs in the Champions League basket and have been building towards this tie for weeks. Liverpool have had no such luxury, facing four high-intensity matches against Manchester City (twice), Manchester United and Everton since the quarter-finals.
Villarreal will sit deep in a narrow and compact defensive shape in the opening stages on Wednesday. Liverpool will come roaring out of the traps, and we will probably not see much in the way of an attacking threat from Villarreal in the first 20 minutes or so. Emery will be content to keep things tight at the back before growing into the game as the clock ticks on.
Everton were able to get to half-time with the scores level on Sunday, and Villarreal are good enough to do the same here. By the end of the 90 minutes, though, Liverpool’s superior quality will probably have made the difference. Back a draw at the interval and a home win at full-time.
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How to Watch Liverpool vs Villarreal
|Liverpool vs Villarreal Information|
|Teams||Liverpool vs Villarreal|
|Location||Anfield, Liverpool, England|
|Time||Wednesday, 27 April 2022, 3.00 PM EDT|
|How to watch||CBS|