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Villarreal ready to meet Liverpool on their terms

Marcelino is urging Villarreal to show respect, not deference, as five-time European champions Liverpool arrive looking to make the most of their quarter-final escape act.

Villarreal players avoid a water hazard in training on Wednesday
Villarreal players avoid a water hazard in training on Wednesday ©AFP/Getty Images
  • Marcelino: "We don't consider ourselves to be inferior to Liverpool"
  • Villarreal bidding for first major European final
  • Villarreal unbeaten in 11 UEFA Europa League games; Reds have not lost in 12
  • Cédric Bakambu has nine goals in the competition; no Liverpool player has over two
  • Second leg scheduled for 5 May; final in Basel on 18 May

Possible lineups
Villarreal: Asenjo/Aréola; Mario Gaspar, Bailly, Víctor Ruiz, Rukavina; Castillejo, Bruno Soriano, Trigueros, Denis Suárez; Soldado, Bakambu.
Out: Baptistão (adductor)
Doubtful: none

Liverpool: Mignolet; Clyne, Lovren, Touré, Moreno; Allen, Firminho, Milner; Lallana, Coutinho; Sturridge.
Out: Origi (ankle/foot), Can (ankle/foot), Henderson (knee), Rossiter (hamstring), Ings (knee), Gomez (knee)
: Benteke (knee)

Villarreal coach Marcelino
Villarreal coach Marcelino©AFP/Getty Images

Marcelino, Villarreal coach
Perhaps Liverpool are the favourites because of their history, their standing as a club and the fact they eliminated Dortmund, one of the big favourites. But we don't consider ourselves inferior to them. We're going to give everything to try and knock out this legendary team.

Liverpool are a very good side with a lot of extraordinary players who play very dynamic football. They are good on the counterattack, they press teams a lot – especially in the opposition half of the pitch. They won't let us play. We have to look for solutions to try and overcome that first line of pressure; if we do that, it will be a big first step.

Highlights: Liverpool's thrilling Dortmund win

Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool manager
When I arrived in October, Basel [venue for next month's final] wasn't a real thing to think about; now it's not far away.

We've watched Villarreal five or six times. They defend in an organised way and are patient enough to wait for mistakes and then capitalise on them. How do we counter the threat of Soldado and Bakambu? By preventing passes through to them – maybe that's the best idea.

Experience is not something you can buy or talk about; it's something you earn and use. But if you use experience in the wrong way then it's worthless. It's all about the performance.

Simon Mignolet is beaten against Newcastle
Simon Mignolet is beaten against Newcastle©Getty Images

Weekend results
Liverpool 2-2 Newcastle (Sturridge 2, Lallana 30; Cissé 48, Colback 66)
Ex-Reds boss Rafael Benítez frustrated Liverpool on his return to Anfield. Daniel Sturridge put the home side in front after just 76 seconds, and they were cruising when Adam Lallana curled in their second. However, struggling Newcastle rallied after Simon Mignolet missed a cross to allow Papiss Cissé to score.

Villarreal 0-0 Real Sociedad 
The Yellow Submarine were held to a frustrating goalless stalemate at El Madrigal, leaving them without a Liga victory in three outings. Midfielder Bruno Soriano went closest with a free-kick that struck the crossbar.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Villarreal: DLLWWW
Liverpool: DWWWDD

How Villarreal reached the last four

Reporter's view: Graham Hunter (@UEFAcomGrahamH)
Villarreal have lost in three UEFA semi-finals – Denis Suárez watched the first on television as a youngster, when the Yellow Submarine were defeated by Arsenal in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League. His analysis, the winger having won this competition last season with Sevilla, is spot on: "We need to establish an advantage at home, keep a clean sheet and be inspired by playing such a historic rival. It's a release from the tension of the Liga."

Did you know?
• Villarreal have won all six of their European home games this season, while Klopp has yet to win in five UEFA games in Spain. Read more in our match background.