Sky Sports pundit comments on Villarreal's form ahead of Europa League semi-final with Liverpool

Villarreal, El Madrigal

Liverpool take on Villarreal in the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Sky Sports pundit Terry Gibson thinks that Villarreal are starting to run out of steam ahead of their Europa League semi-final tie with Liverpool.

Villarreal have not won in their last three league games - having suffered defeats to Rayo Vallecano and Real Madrid and a draw with Real Sociedad at the weekend.

Gibson told Sky Sports: "I'm concerned about their upcoming fixture with Liverpool, I think they are running out of steam. It's been a couple of defeats prior to the game against Real Sociedad - and they weren't great against Sociedad.

"Cedric Bakambu looks lively, which is a saviour for them at the moment. We've mentioned Roberto Soldado a number of times; he's not scoring, but he's contributing to what has been a fruitful partnership. But Soldado has to start scoring goals. He has to deliver over the two legs against Liverpool.

"Can they switch the form back on? We know the importance of European football to Villarreal, who are a relatively small club.

"A European semi-final against one of the legends of European football is a huge occasion for Villarreal, so we'll see."

Cedric Bakambu has been highlighted as a danger - and given that he has scored 22 goals in all competitions this season, that is perhaps of little surprise.

The side nicknamed the Yellow Submarine currently sit in fourth place in La Liga and have been a strong side over the course of the season. However, if Gibson's comments are anything to go by then Liverpool are probably facing their opponents at the right time as they look to book their place in the final of a major European competition.

Liverpool will hope to come away from El Madrigal in a strong position ahead of the second leg at Anfield next week, as the Reds aim to end the campaign with silverware and get themselves into the Champions League for next season in the process.

However, the magnitude of the game in terms of Villarreal's history should not be lost and that extra incentive could drive the La Liga club on in this tie.

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