Pau Torres sends Liverpool Champions League double recall ahead of Villareal draw
Villareal defender Pau Torres believes Liverpool are the favorites to reach the Champions League final again this season.
The English and Spanish sides will face off next Wednesday night for the first leg of the semi-final at Anfield before facing off six days later at the Estadio de la Cerámica. Whoever wins will face Real Madrid or Manchester City in the Paris final on Saturday 28 May.
Yellow Submarines centre-back Torres is under no illusions that his side are seen as the underdog in their last four games but still believes the La Liga side can thrive in this role, just as she has done in the last two knockout rounds.
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Speaking to Marca, according to Sport Witness, he said: “They are clearly the favorites at the moment; they are in great shape. They take advantage of any slippage at the slightest opportunity. We have to know who we are up against, and it is normal to recognize that they are the favourites. But Juve and Bayern too. We are here to prepare for it, to work on it and to continue to create surprises. In the end, we have nothing to lose; on the contrary.
“We really want to do great things. We will be less surprised because we have just eliminated Juve and Bayern, so Liverpool will be a little more humble than Bayern and prepare fully knowing what we are capable of.
The Reds have already faced the Spaniards in the European semi-finals. In 2016, Jurgen Klopp’s side had to overcome a 1-0 first-leg deficit to secure a 3-0 second-leg victory at Anfield, cementing a Europa League final place with a 3-1 aggregate victory. An own goal from Bruno Soriano, complete with strikes from Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana was enough to get the job done on the night, but this time Liverpool will be looking to take their own advantage in the second leg.
Under the leadership of Unai Emery, the arrival of Villareal in the semi-finals of the Champions League is not a happy coincidence. After leaving the group stage in second place, Juventus were heavy favorites to progress to the quarter-finals, but after a 1-1 draw in Spain Villareal secured a brilliant 3-0 victory in Turin to stun the Old Lady and pass 4 -1 on aggregate.
They then faced Bayern Munich in the last eight, and despite Emery’s side winning 1-0 at home, they were still the main underdogs heading to Germany. However, a last-minute counter-attacking equalizer from Samuel Chukwueze snatched a 1-1 second leg draw that left five-time champions Munich not just stunned, but eliminated.
With a giant killer pedigree already established, Liverpool will be weary of a fatal blow from the Yellow Submarines, should they let their guard down for even a moment.