Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp vows not to ‘underestimate Villarreal like Juventus and Bayern Munich might have done’ – and promises to be ‘on the top of my game’ for huge Champions League semi-final clash against ‘detail-obsessed’ Unai Emery’s underdogs
- Jurgen Klopp has warned Liverpool will not take Villarreal lightly on Wednesday
- The Reds welcome Unai Emery’s side in Champions League semi-final first leg
- Villarreal have knocked out Juventus and Bayern Munich but are the underdogs
Jurgen Klopp has pledged that Liverpool will not underestimate Unai Emery’s Villarreal in the Champions League semi-finals.
The Reds welcome the LaLiga outfit in the first leg of the last-four clash at Anfield on Wednesday night with Klopp’s side favourites to reach another final.
But Villarreal, last season’s Europa League winners, have proved they are no pushovers by beating Juventus and Bayern Munich to reach this stage of the competition, and Klopp has insisted that Liverpool will not take them lightly.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has vowed that Liverpool will not underestimate Villarreal
The Spanish side have already knocked out mighty Bayern Munich to reach the last four
‘There might have been a slight advantage [for Villarreal] where Juve or Bayern might have underestimated them but that won’t happen with us. They want to be part of the final but it’s the same importance for us,’ he said on Tuesday.
‘They’re seventh in LaLiga. After they won the quarter-final with Bayern, in between they played Bilbao and Unai changed 11 times. Spain is obviously competitive.
‘It’s a difficult league to be successful in but Unai shows he has a plan for each result 1-0 up, 1-0 down etc.
‘We have properly analysed Villarreal. I have proper respect for Unai and them. I watched them properly and wow! Impressive.
‘He is a detail-obsessed manager. Different ways to press and react to different results. A world-class coach doing an incredible job.’
Liverpool are bidding to win their seventh European Cup with their last triumph coming in 2019, following a sensational comeback win over Barcelona at the semi-final stage.
Klopp was full of praise for Villarreal boss Unai Emery ahead of Champions League showdown
Villarreal also dispatched another European giant in Juventus en route to the semi-finals
The Merseyside giants looked to be heading out when trailing 3-0 to Barca from the first leg but, spurred on by an electric atmosphere at Anfield, they pulled off a remarkable 4-0 win to reach the final.
Klopp has promised to be at the ‘top of his game’ on the touchline on Wednesday night as he called on fans to create a ‘similar atmosphere’ to that memorable night three years ago.
‘We need a similar atmosphere and a big performance. I need to be on top of my game, so do the boys, that is fine,’ he added.
‘If a semi-final in this competition would be easy, something would be really wrong. I can’t wait for it, to be honest.’