Jan Molby's verdict on Liverpool Europa League draw - highlights one key Villarreal player

Villarreal, El Madrigal

Liverpool drew Villarreal in the semi-finals of the Europa League following their astonishing quarter-final victory over Borussia Dortmund.

Former Liverpool midfielder Jan Molby says the facing Villarreal at home in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final will be massive plus as they bid to reach their first major European final in nine years.

Liverpool booked their place in the last four of the Europa League with a stunning comeback against Borussia Dortmund at Anfield, winning 4-3 on the night - 5-4 on aggregate - with Dejan Lovren's stoppage time header sending them through.

In his Liverpool Echo column, Molby said: "Thursday night showed what a big advantage it is to play the second leg at Anfield and Liverpool will also have that luxury in the semi-final against Villarreal.

"That’s a massive plus as Liverpool approach what will be a tricky tie.

"Villarreal are the fourth best team in Spain and play some really nice football. In Cedric Bakambu they have a striker who is on fire. He’s going to be a real handful.

"They don’t have the same experience as Dortmund but they will be dangerous opponents."

Villarreal were emphatic winners against Sparta Prague in the previous round, 6-3 on aggregate, and have been in a thorn in the side of many of the La Liga giants. They overcame Real Madrid at El Madrigal in December with former Tottenham Hotspur striker Roberto Soldado getting on the scoresheet, who has somewhat revived his career since his spell in North London. 

Molby identified Bakambu as a real threat for the Reds, and has scored 22 goals in all competitions this season - averaging a goal every other game, so Liverpool are going to have to keep close tabs on the 25-year-old if they are to make it to Basel.

This is also a side that is on course to finish fourth in La Liga, and Liverpool will be wary of the last time they faced Spanish opposition in the semi-final of this competition, where a Diego Forlan away goal in extra-time denied them a place in the final in Hamburg in 2010.

However, after the dramatic fashion Liverpool came from behind to beat Dortmund, they will feel the momentum is with them, and will fancy their chances of making the final in Basel.

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