Unai Emery hints Villarreal will use Everton’s tactics to frustrate Liverpool


UNAI EMERY has hinted that Villarreal will copy Everton’s approach to Sunday’s Merseyside derby as his side aim to spring a surprise on Liverpool in their Champions League semi-final.

The LaLiga giants stunned Bayern Munich to reach the last-four and will be hoping to shock the rampant Reds at Anfield.


Unai Emery has hinted his Villarreal will look to play deep and frustrate Liverpool in their Champions League semi-final first leg at Anfield on Wednesday nightCredit: EPA

Former Arsenal boss Emery is no stranger to Jurgen Klopp‘s attack-first, Gegenpressing tactics.

But he has hinted his Villarreal will employ a the low defensive block in a bid to frustrate Liverpool and slow down their ferocious attack in the first leg.

Everton had just 17 per cent of the possession in Sunday’s derby as they aimed to keep the Reds out, the second-lowest in league history.

The Reds ultimately broke the Toffees down to keep their title bid alive – and push their Merseyside rivals deeper into a relegation scrap.

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But Emery reckons his side could have more joy.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Emery said: “The surprise factor is dwindling.

“That is no longer present, whoever reaches the Champions League semi-finals is there because they deserve it.

“Liverpool know that we are in good European form, that we have been able to eliminate two great teams.

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“They know it won’t be easy. They will feel they are favourites, that’s normal, but they will respect us.”

And Emery gave a brief insight into his side’s tactical approach, adding: “I see a Liverpool that have improved.

“We face Liverpool in their best moment.

“It’s true that against teams that retreat they can have more difficulties.”

Although Emery did concede: “But they are prepared for it.”

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On Sunday, Klopp changed the game with an attacking substitution after bringing on striker Divock Origi for Naby Keita.

Origi was involved in the Reds’ first goal – Andrew Robertson’s header, his first strike in front of the Kop – and nodded home their second in the tense win.


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