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Villarreal vs Liverpool Champions League semi-final preview: Where to watch, kick-off time, predicted line-ups

When is it? How can you watch it? What are the possible line-ups? All you need to know about the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg between Villarreal and Liverpool.

Villarreal players enjoy themselves in training on Monday morning
Villarreal players enjoy themselves in training on Monday morning Getty Images

Villarreal and Liverpool meet in the UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg on Tuesday 3 May.

Villarreal vs Liverpool at a glance

When: Tuesday 3 May (21:00 CET kick-off)
Where: Estadio de la Cerámica, Villarreal
What: UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg
How it stands
: Liverpool lead 2-0 from the first leg
How to follow: Build-up and live coverage will appear here

Where to watch Villarreal vs Liverpool on TV

Fans can find their local UEFA Champions League broadcast partner(s) here.

What happened in the first leg?

Highlights: Liverpool 2-0 Villarreal
Highlights: Liverpool 2-0 Villarreal

Liverpool could have been out of sight before half-time in a characteristically dominant display. The Reds went up a gear in the second period and two goals in three minutes soon after the restart confirmed their ascendancy. First Jordan Henderson's cross ballooned into the net via a deflection off Pervis Estupiñán before Sadio Mané latched on to Mohamed Salah's cute through ball to make it 2-0. From then on it was damage limitation for Villarreal.

Confirmed starting line-ups

Villarreal: Rulli: Foyth, Albiol, Pau Torres, Estupiñán; Lo Celso, Parejo, Capoue, Coquelin; Gerard Moreno, Dia

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konaté, Van Dijk, Robertson; Keïta, Fabinho, Thiago Alcántara; Salah, Mané, Diogo Jota

Form guide

Henderson: 'The next goal is a big one'
Henderson: 'The next goal is a big one'

Villarreal
Form (all competitions, most recent first)
: LLWWDDW
Where they stand: 7th in Spanish Liga

Liverpool
Form (all competitions, most recent first)
: WWWWWDD 
Where they stand: 2nd in Premier League, FA Cup final, League Cup winners

Away goals rule abolished

There has been a rule change for 2021/22: ties level after the second leg will go to extra time and a penalty shoot-out if required, irrespective of the number of away goals a team has scored.

Expert predictions

Graham Hunter, Villarreal reporter
The last thing anyone who knows this remarkable, characterful club would do is write them off. But the odds keep stacking. Two goals behind, and glad to leave Anfield still in the tie, Villarreal suddenly have a full physio’s room. The two key doubts are Raúl Albiol, Unai Emery’s most experienced player, and Gerard Moreno, their leader in attack. The chances are that both make a gargantuan effort to play. But at their peak form? Only time will tell.

There was a very strong sense of wounded pride after the first leg; the Yellow Submarine have a point to prove and a first Champions League final to reach. Discard them at your peril.

Matthew Howarth, Liverpool reporter
While it would be foolish to dismiss Villarreal’s comeback hopes entirely, it would take a near-miraculous recovery to deny Liverpool a third final in five seasons. Jürgen Klopp was able to rest a number of first-team regulars during Saturday’s 1-0 win at Newcastle and is likely to have a near full-strength squad to choose from for what should be an evening of celebration for the Reds.

Classic Champions League semi-final goals
Classic Champions League semi-final goals

What the coaches say

Unai Emery, Villarreal coach: "'We are in good home form. Starting 2-0 behind is complicated. We will seek to create situations in the game to allow us to come close to equalising. The removal of the away goals rule benefits us. The home factor was key for Liverpool but we managed to defend well and avoid giving them more of an advantage. We are psyched up to play our game. We want to enjoy this moment with our fans."

Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool coach: "We have to be ready to play a top game because they will go for us with a high press and try to play much more football than we allowed them to in the first leg. Unai will try to adapt a few things to our style. We never expect a Champions League semi-final to be easy, and this one won't be. You never know if we will ever have a chance to go to the final again, so you'd better treat it carefully and be ready – and we will be."

When and where is the 2022 Champions League final?

The Stade de France in Saint-Denis will host the final on Saturday 28 May at 21:00 CET.

The winners gain a place in the 2022/23 Champions League group stage, if they have not qualified via their domestic competition.