May 05, 2016

    We will be better against Villarreal: Klopp


    LIVERPOOL manager Juergen Klopp has vowed that his team will rediscover their mojo in time for tonight's Europa League semi-final second leg at home to slick Spanish opponents Villarreal.

    After a 1-0 first-leg defeat, he saw a much-changed side beaten 3-1 by Swansea City on Sunday and goes into the biggest game of his seven-month tenure on the back of the first successive losses of his Anfield reign.

    Reflecting on the defeat by Swansea, he told the Liverpool website: "We have to accept the result, which is what we do, and then we work and we will be better on Thursday."

    With the loss at Swansea having damaged their chances of qualifying for next season's Europa League via the league, winning this season's competition, which will yield a place in next season's Champions League, has now taken on even greater importance.

    Klopp made eight changes for the trip to the Liberty Stadium and is expected to restore players, including goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, midfielder James Milner and forward Roberto Firmino to his starting XI.

    Villarreal travel to Liverpool full of confidence after securing a return to the Champions League for the first time in four years with a 2-0 win at Valencia in La Liga on Sunday.

    Coach Marcelino has a fully fit squad to choose from as Ivorian international Eric Bailly has overcome the hamstring injury he suffered in the first leg to travel with the rest of the squad.

    "On Thursday, we have the chance we have been waiting for all our lives," captain Bruno told the club's website.

    "It is a step the club still hasn't been able to take and we will face up to that challenge in the best way possible.

    "We will be at 100 per cent to achieve this objective."