Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool will need to defend well or they'l have no chance of Europa League progression

Jurgen Klopp hug

Klopp's Liverpool side trail 1-0 from the first leg.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said his side need to defend well in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final against Villarreal, or they will have no chance of progressing to the final in Basel.

The Reds trail from a solitary Adrian Lopez strike from the first leg at El Madrigal last week, and though the onus is on Liverpool to take the game to the La Liga side, Klopp hopes his side can keep things tight at the back, in the knowledge that conceding an away goal to their opponents would leave the Reds with a hell of a fight on their hands. 

He told the official Liverpool website: "We should not open gaps, we should be really disciplined in our protection and in general in our defending. We really need to defend very, very well because if we don’t do this, we have no chance. But it’s a football game and it will be 95, 96, 97 minutes – however long – and you have to use this time to bring through your plan in a game like this."

Demonstrating the fine balance that Liverpool may have to execute well in order to make it through to the final, Klopp said that his side will have to gamble at times in the game.

He added: "It’s a game and in a game you have to gamble, you have to show a few things and in the other moments, do something completely different to surprise the opponent."

It's going to be fascinating to see how Liverpool start the game. Defensively, the Reds have had their issues over the course of the season, but have shown they can be solid in patches since Klopp's arrival, and one feels that they will need to be solid for the entire game tonight against a side that will go in search of an away goal in the hope it will kill off the Reds.

Liverpool will probably line up in a way that's a little more open than in the first leg of the tie where they were pretty cagey. Klopp will want a little more movement from his midfield and a bit more service to his forwards. The big selection to look out for tonight is whether Daniel Sturridge will lead the line. Many feels it's inconceivable that he won't.

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