As Liverpool fans take a trip to Spain for their Europa League semifinal first leg tie against Villarreal, they are slightly worried given the absence of their two key players – Mamadou Sakho and Divock Origi.
Both had huge roles to play in Liverpool’s quarter final triumph over Borussia Dortmund. While Origi started the comeback, Sakho scored the equalizing goal in a remarkable 4-3 win at Anfield.
However, Origi is out injured after picking up an ankle injury against Everton while Sakho has been abandoned by The Reds following his failed drug tests. Sakho was tested positive for using a “fat burner” and is facing a lengthy ban from UEFA.
Jurgen Klopp faces a tough task in picking his starting XI with Sakho and Origi both missing from the game tonight. Kolo Toure would be the ideal option to start in defense while Daniel Sturridge would indeed start in attack for The Reds.
Seeing the options available to Klopp, one has to feel that Sakho’s absence might hurt more Liverpool given the prolific Cédric Bakambu leading Villarreal’s attack. The striker has scored 12 league goals this season and will be the key threat for Liverpool to deal with.
Dejan Lovren has looked strong in recent weeks but it may not be enough as The Reds look to strike the first blow in their attempt to reach Europa League final. As for their attack, Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana along with Sturridge will be good enough to bloster Liverpool’s chances going forward.
Despite Origi’s brilliance in recent weeks, Klopp can rely on his attackers to get the job done at Estadio El Madrigal when Liverpool take on the Villarreal in an enthralling European semifinal later tonight.
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