Thursday, June 30, 2022

Liverpool vs. Villarreal predictions, Champions League odds: Jurgen Klopp’s men favorites to dominate

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The Champions League returns with the first leg of the second semifinal as  Villarreal CF are aiming to extend their fairytale run against Liverpool on Wednesday. Unai Emery’s unfancied Spanish outfit travel to Anfield for the opening leg and will be aiming to repeat strong showings on the road against Bayern Munich and Juventus which have earned them a deserved final four berth.

El Submarino Amarillo are not considered favorites for a reason, though, and that is because they are up against Jurgen Klopp’s Premier League powerhouse and our panel very much expects this one to go the Reds’ way. Our experts are split on how convincing a Liverpool win it will be, but they are unanimous in believing that it will be an opening victory for the hosts.

Do you agree with them? Compare your picks with theirs here.

Wednesday’s broadcast schedule

Liverpool vs. Benfica

Date: Wednesday, April 27 | Time: 3 p.m. ET | Live stream: CBS and Paramount+

Location: Anfield — Liverpool, United Kingdom

Studio coverage: Kate Abdo, Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher and Micah Richards

Commentators: Clive Tyldesley and Rob Green

On-site reporters: Peter Schmeichel, Jules Breach and Guillem Balagué  

Odds: Liverpool -360 ; Draw +460; Villarreal +1000 (via Caesars Sportsbook)  

Featured Game | Liverpool vs. Villarreal

Powered by Caesars Sportsbook

One matchup to watch: Mo Salah vs. Raul Albiol. Defense has been key for Villarreal thus far and Raul Albiol

was man of the match against Bayern Munich despite Robert Lewandowski scoring. How the Spanish veteran marshals the back line to keep the likes of Mo Salah quiet will go a long way towards deciding whether or not this one stays alive over two legs.

Most likely to score: Sadio Mane. An equal threat in front of goal is Sadio Mane and the Senegal international is in hot form with five goals from his last six appearances. The 30-year-old is a hot favorite to tally again here given his penchant for providing goals in the biggest fixtures, as we have seen recently against Manchester City, Manchester United and Benfica.

Man of the Match pick: Thiago Alcantara. It has taken some time, but we are finally seeing the Thiago Alcantara

we all know and love for Liverpool of late and he will fancy himself to dictate the tempo against opposition he knows well. The Spain international is one to keep a close eye on as this first leg unfolds.

Match prediction: Liverpool 1, Villarreal 0. The hosts to draw first blood, but this one will stay alive as it heads back to Spain giving Villarreal a chance over the two legs.

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