Marcelino accepts Liverpool are favourites for the Europa League semi-final but insists ‘Villarreal are not inferior.’
The sides meet at El Madrigal on Thursday in the tie’s first leg, with the Yellow Submarine to pay tribute before kick-off to the 96 Liverpool fans who died in the Hillsborough Disaster, Marcelino describing the Reds as a ‘legendary’ team.
“Liverpool might be favourites. For their history, the club, their potential and for having eliminated Borussia Dortmund they will be categorised as such, but we don’t consider ourselves to be inferior. We’ll do everything to knock out a legendary team,” he told reporters, according to AS.
“They’re a very good team with outstanding players who play very intensely. They have a great counter-attack and lots of pressing, so they won’t let us play. We need to find solutions to pass the first line of pressure. It’s sure to be a beautiful game. Overall, we have a similar idea.
“We’re not under pressure. I’m very satisfied and grateful to the squad for contesting the semi-final. We have the hope and the belief we can eliminate Liverpool, but we always try to enjoy the game. We’re privileged to play this semi-final.
“We felt more pressure in previous rounds. We have the chance to make history at this club. If we enjoy the game and do the right things the opponent will suffer on our pitch. We’re not thinking of Anfield, only to win on Thursday.
“If Mateo Musacchio and Jaume Costa are on the list, they’re able to play, but they’re coming from a period of inactivity. They’re recovered for this match and hopefully won’t suffer a set-back and we can count on them for the final stretch. We’re very glad they’re with us.”