Michael Owen has predicted the result of the UEFA Champions League semifinal first leg between Villarreal and the Reds
The Reds secured a 2-0 win over their Merseyside rivals Everton at the weekend. Frank Lampard’s game plan was to sit back and hit Jurgen Klopp’s men on the counter-attack.
Villarreal could do the same as they have players capable of causing Liverpool some trouble. However, Owen believes his former side will have enough quality to secure a first-leg victory.
He wrote in his column for BetVictor:
“It wasn’t the prettiest of games, but Liverpool’s win over Everton was a massive win. I actually think that will be a good warm-up game for this, Villareal will play a very similar way to Everton. They’ll sit deep and try to frustrate the Reds.”
“Villareal are very organised, and in Emery, have a coach who excels in cup competitions. They’re dangerous on the break, and the likes of Danjuma are a threat.”
Owen is also counting on Divock Origi to play a crucial part in the Reds’ march towards the Champions League final.
The 27-year-old forward netted a late winner in the Merseyside derby to secure all three points for Klopp’s team.
“I still think Liverpool will do enough to get the win, don’t rule out more Origi heroics! 2-0 Liverpool.”
Klopp’s men are the favorites to book a place in the Champions League final. However, Villarreal are not easy opposition in European competitions.
Unai Emery’s side have already knocked out two of Europe’s elite clubs, Juventus and Bayern Munich, from the Champions League.
The winner of this semifinal will either face Real Madrid or Manchester City in the final in Paris next month.
Villarreal will be looking to reach their first-ever Champions League final in their history after winning the Europa League last season.
Liverpool continue their quest for the quadruple this season
Jurgen Klopp’s men are chasing an unprecedented quadruple this season after winning the Carabao Cup earlier this year.
The Reds are in the semifinals of the Champions League and have also booked a place in the final of the FA Cup.
The Merseyside giants are still second in the Premier League standings, one point behind leaders Manchester City. There are only five matches remaining in the season.