Villarreal Coach Marcelino admits reaching the Europa League Final by getting a result at Anfield against Liverpool is a ‘motivation.’
The Yellow Submarine lead 1-0 from the first leg and can seal a first final appearance in European competition on Thursday as they go to the home of the Reds, but the Coach warned of the difficulty of playing on Merseyside.
“We don’t know the stadium. We didn’t visit it when we played Everton in the summer. It’s nice to play here. We’re conditioned on a mental level. It’s a motivation to reach the final from Anfield,” Marcelino confirmed, AS reports.
“We’re very pleased to be in the semi-final and we have tremendous enthusiasm. We’ll have our options and we’ll be competitive. It will be different from the first game. I expect a team that presses higher up the pitch and is more direct. We know where they’re dangerous and it’s important to counteract that.”
Marcelino was asked if the fixture will carry any similarity to a previous round, when Villarreal went to Napoli, but insisted there can be no comparison between one game and another barring the level of the opponent.
“No two games, even if they are played between the same teams, are equal. Maybe it will have similarities. We played against a great team then and we do so now. From here it depends on doing the right things,” he explained.
“If we get more right we’ll go to the final. We’re very clear that we are going to suffer and we’re also clear that we have arguments to make the game difficult.
“Liverpool have an outstanding squad. They paid €50m for Christian Benteke, which is almost Villarreal’s budget. We’re not relying on them playing one or another. Any midfielder or forward can be dangerous if we are not strong. If Daniel Sturridge plays or not is something for Jurgen Klopp.
“Villarreal’s most important game? Villarreal have had other important games like this. Maybe Almeria was the most important. This is a dream. We come from qualifying for the Champions League, which makes us proud of the squad. We won’t be anxious. You have to enjoy it. We’ll give everything to go to the final.”