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Liverpool vs. Villarreal: Match Preview, Team News, and Ways to Watch

It's the last stand for Klopp's Reds as they take on Villarreal at home and try to battle back from a 1-0 deficit to clinch a place in the Europa League final.

David Ramos/Getty Images

Last Thursday's loss was part of a horrible, no good, very bad week for Liverpool. Ongoing injury problems, brand new suspensions, and a defeat away to Villarreal at the death in Europe following by a dire performance against Swansea in the league all added up to a stretch many fans would sooner forget.

This Thursday, they'll be hoping for a result that takes things back in a rather more positive direction when the Spanish side comes to Anfield for the second leg of the Europa League semi-final. The Reds, who were the only unbeaten team left in the competition, will have nothing to lose when Marcelino's men come calling. If they persevere, the rest of May could mean something. If they lose, the season is effectively over.

The good news for Liverpool is that despite the poor result Klopp was able to rest several of his starters against Swansea in preparation for this game. The other bit of positivity coming out of Melwood is that Emre Can has begun training and may be in contention to start the game. That would be a huge boost to the club given the way injuries and suspensions have decimated much of their first team roster in recent weeks.

The bad news, as ever when it comes to this team, is the defense. With Mamadou Sakho suspended for the rest of the season, who replaces him remains an ongoing issue. Last Thursday he relied on the stalwart Kolo Toure, and with Toure being rested on Sunday, it's likely he'll be chosen again. However, if Emre Can is indeed ready to play, there's a chance Klopp may shift Lucas Leiva back into the center-back role -- a position he's filled in at quite a few times this season.

As for Villarreal, they will have a fully fit squad to choose from, with both of Leo Baptistao and Eric Bailly returning from injur... Oh, I'm sorry. I should probably go back and explain this for anyone who may have begun following Liverpool this season and therefore may be justifiably a bit lost in the terminology. You see, "fully fit squad" is when a manager has every player on the first team available to him or her for selection. Occasionally this exciting bit of luck happens to clubs that aren't Liverpool, even if you're probably thinking, 'but don't Villarreal players have hamstrings?' right now. I know, I don't understand it either. Anyway.

For Liverpool:

Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Moreno
Lucas, Can
Milner, Firmino, Coutinho

A lot has been made of Daniel Sturridge's exclusion from the action both last Thursday and Sunday. However, he's the most capable, currently fit striker that Liverpool have at their disposal at the moment. Klopp will likely include him in the game, but we may also see a repeat of last week's set up with Firmino playing up front. As mentioned, Toure seems the most likely to start this match, but Klopp may choose to shake things up once again at the back.

Divock Origi, Jordan Henderson, Danny Ings, Jordan Rossiter, and Joe Gomez all remain for the time being. Mamadou Sakho is suspended for the remainder of the season. Jon Flanagan is not eligible to play in the Europa League.

Kickoff is at 8:05PM BST/3:05PM EST, with radio coverage from LFCTV GO online for subscribers across the globe. Televised options are BT Sport Europe in the UK and Fox Sports 1 in the US. Elsewhere, it will also be showing on BeIN Sports Australia in Australia, TSN in Canada, TEN Action in India, Supersport 3 Africa in Kenya, and Astro Supersport3 in Malaysia. You can find other listings at LiveSoccerTV.

We'll be keeping you updated with all the buildup to the game, including team news as it's released, our live matchday thread and post-match recaps from The Liverpool Offside team. If you want to join in with the matchday discussion, sign up for an SB Nation account to have your say on the game as it happens.

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