Liverpool set to reach

Liverpool are in pole position to reach a second UEFA Champions League final in four seasons as they carry a 2-0 lead to Villarreal for the second leg of their semi-final.

Last week, Jurgen Klopp’s side produced a dominant performance at Anfield racking up 74% possession and 19 shots. Meanwhile, the Spaniards failed to register a single shot on target.

An own goal from Pervis Estupinan gave Liverpool the lead early in the second half before a Sadio Mane strike put the Reds firmly in control two minutes later.

Villarreal head into the second leg on the back of a 2-1 defeat to Alaves in La Liga. Despite seeing 68% of the ball on Saturday, they failed to prevent the loss.

Not only have the Yellow Submarine lost each of their last two games in all competitions, but they have also lost four of their previous nine.

As a result, Unai Emery’s men find themselves seventh in La Liga nine points outside the top four and a whopping 29 points behind newly-crowned champions Real Madrid.

In the Champions League, however, Villarreal have already knocked out Juventus (4-1) and Bayern Munich (2-1) to reach this stage. You would be foolish to write them off altogether.

On the flip side, Liverpool come into the second leg on the back of a 1-0 victory over Newcastle United in the Premier League – leaving them one point behind first-place Manchester City.

Not only have the Reds won each of their last five games across all competitions, but they have also avoided defeat in all of their previous 12.

In the Champions League, Liverpool won all six of their group games before dispatching Inter Milan (2-1) and Benfica (6-4) to book their place in the semi-finals.

Liverpool set to reach

Team news: Alberto Moreno and Yeremi Pino are absent for Villarreal. Elsewhere, Arnaut Danjuma and Gerard Moreno are also injury doubts.

As for Liverpool, Roberto Firmino looks set to miss the second leg through injury. Divock Origi is also a doubt due to illness.