Liverpool v Villarreal: Champions League semi-final, first leg – live! | Champions League

That Liverpool team: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp makes three changes to the team that beat Everton on Sunday for tonight’s game.

Ibrahima Konate replaces Joel Matip in central defence, Jordan Henderson is in for Naby Keita in midfield and Luis Diaz starts ahead of Diogo Jota. Kostas Tsimikas and Curtis Jones are both absent due to non-Covid-related illness.

Timely reminder that Villarreal subsidised half of their fans travel/match ticket costs – totalling €300 per fan. The club’s season ticket holders can buy a ticket for the home leg for as little as €10. Showing it is possible for clubs to respect fans and treat them properly.

— Colin Millar (@Millar_Colin) April 27, 2022

Liverpool v Villarreal line-ups

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, van Dijk, Robertson, Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago, Salah, Mane, Diaz.

Subs: Milner, Keita, Gomez, Adrian, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Jota, Origi, Matip, Kelleher, Elliott, Williams.

Villarreal: Rulli, Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Estupinan, Chukwueze, Parejo, Capoue, Coquelin, Lo Celso, Danjuma.

Subs: Sergio Asenjo, Mario, Alcacer, Iborra, Trigueros, Dia, Pena, Mandi, Moi Gomez, Pedraza, Aurier, Jorgensen.

Referee: Szymon Marciniak (Poland)

This is Anfield
This is Anfield. Photograph: Jan Kruger/UEFA/Getty Images

Klopp urges Liverpool to cherish ‘special’ Champions League semi-final – video

Tonight’s match officials

  • Referee: Szymon Marciniak
  • Assistant referees: Paweł Sokolnicki and Tomasz Listkiewicz
  • Fourth official: Slavko Vinčić
  • Video Assistant Referee: Tomasz Kwiatkowski
Szymon Marciniak
Polish referee Szymon Marciniak is in charge of topnight’s match at Anfield. Photograph: Kieran McManus/REX/Shutterstock

Guardian Football Weekly podcast

In the latest episode of our award-winning podcast, Max Rushden and guests including yours truly, Nicky Bandini and Sid Lowe pick over the bones of last night’s epic ding-dong at the Etihad Stadium, look ahead to tonight’s game at Anfield and chat to Calum Jacobs about his excellent new anthology A New Formation: How Black Footballers Shaped The Modern Game.

If you’re not already a subscriber you can tune in by clicking the link below or sign up for free in all the usual places. And if you like what you hear, we’re touring in the UK and Ireland this summer, so why not come along to see us at a venue near (or very far away) from you. Click here for more information or to buy tickets.

Early team news

Roberto Firmino is Liverpool’s only injury concern, the Brazilian striker having missed Liverpool’s past two Premier League games with a foot injury. While it’s nothing serious, tonight’s game is expected to come a mite too soon for him. “I don’t think [he is ready] yet,” the Liverpool boss told the club website. “He is running outside and that’s good, obviously, but I am not sure.

Villarreal are likely to be a couple of Morenos down, with former Liverpool defender Alberto still recovering from a cruciate injury that he suffered in early March. His namesake-but-no-relation Gerard is also a doubt with a hamstring injury that ruled the striker out of his side’s derby win over Valencia last Tuesday. Winger Yeremi Pino definitely misses out with a twanged hamstring.

VIllarreal training
Villarreal’s players are put through their paces at training. Photograph: Domenech Castello/EPA

Champions League: Liverpool v Villarreal

With the dust barely settled on last night’s thriller at the Etihad Stadium, Liverpool and Villarreal go toe-to-toe at Anfield in the first leg of this season’s other Champipons League semi-final.

They’ve a hard act to follow but while Villarreal are the least fancied of the teams in the last four, their elimination of both Juventus and Bayern Munich in the knockout stages means only the very naive would underestimate the capabilities of the team from the small town in Castellón. Kick-off at Anfield is at 8pm (BST) but stay tuned in the meantime for team news and build-up.

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