A LOOK at the last Liverpool team to face Villarreal six years ago shows just how much Jurgen Klopp has transformed the Reds.
The German manager led Liverpool to a win over the Spanish side in their previous European tie, and will be hoping for another positive result tonight when Unai Emery’s side visit Anfield.Roberto Firmino and James Milner are the only two players still at the club who played against Villarreal[/caption]
In 2016 Liverpool overcame a 1-0 deficit in the Europa League semi-final first leg to progress 3-1 on aggregate.
Daniel Sturridge and Adam Lallana scored – and that pair were stars in that Liverpool team.
In fact, only two players from the starting line-up that night are still part of Klopp’s squad – James Milner and Roberto Firmino.
Jordan Henderson was also at the club but missed out through injury, though he was named on the substitute’s bench in the final defeat by Sevilla.
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Starting in midfield instead was Emre Can alongside Milner, with Firmino operating as a No10 ahead of that duo.
Sturridge started as a lone striker flanked on the wings by Lallana and Philippe Coutinho.
Behind the Brazilian at left-back was Alberto Moreno, who now plays for Villarreal but is currently unavailable due to injury.
The right-sided full-back on that May night was Nathaniel Clyne, with Kolo Toure partnering Dejan Lovren in central defence.
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Simon Mignolet played in goal and did not miss a single Europa League game that season.
As for Villarreal, their line-up consisted of three players who have featured in the Premier League, including Tottenham flop Roberto Soldado.
Denis Suarez also played left-wing and later moved on loan to Arsenal in an uninspiring spell.
Meanwhile, Alphonse Areola featured as goalkeeper and this season is enjoying more Europa League heroics with West Ham, who are set to take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-final first leg on Thursday.