Charlie Nicholas predicts Liverpool v Villarreal outcome

Liverpool host Villarreal at Anfield in the Europa League on Thursday.

Charlie Nicholas has predicted to Sky Sports that Villarreal will beat Liverpool this week.

Liverpool take on Villarreal in the second leg of their Europa League semi final on Thursday evening.

They currently trail in the tie having lost the first leg in Spain 1-0 last week, and crucially missing out on an away goal.

It was very much seen as a missed opportunity for the Reds, and Nicholas believes they will miss out on a place in the final as a result.

“Liverpool have lost their way over the last few games and I thought it was another missed opportunity with Jurgen Klopp not playing a striker in Villarreal,” he told Sky Sports.

“Villarreal are clever and tricky and they'll be looking to pick Liverpool off on the counter-attack with Cedric Bakambu's pace, especially with Kolo Toure in there in Mamadou Sakho's absence.”

“I think if Klopp plays Sturridge then they'll go through, but I think he might try to be a bit too clever again and leave him to come off the bench.”

At just 1-0 down, the tie is far from over for Jurgen Klopp’s team who will fancy their chances of winning the second leg.

The La Liga outfit did not demonstrate much to worry the Reds in Spain, further increasing the disappointment about the result for them.

They are not to be underestimated though, with a top four place in the league and wins over both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid showing their ability clearly.

As Nicholas says, key to the game will be whether Sturridge starts, with an early goal likely to get Anfield roaring and pushing them to the Europa League final.

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