Posted on 15th Apr 2016
Liverpool: The Merseysiders are many people’s favourites to win the competition following their dramatic victory against Borussia Dortmund as fans love for their charismatic manager Jurgen Klopp grows.
Liverpool will have their tails up and will be brimming with confidence after their dramatic late comeback ensured their passage into the semi final as they remain unbeaten in their twelve matches in the competition.
Liverpool have plenty of options in midfield and attack and their recent performances have left Klopp with a selection headache. Divock Origi has come into his own and appears to be the prefered option in attack ahead of Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke after scoring in both ties against Dortmund. Whereas, Joe Allen and Roberto Firmino have impressed when called upon.
Philippe Coutinho: The little Brazilian can create something out of nothing and has become an integral part of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool revival. The playmaker has scored two goals so far in the Europa League with his latest coming against Borussia Dortmund at Anfield.
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Villarreal: The Spaniards will provide tough opposition especially at home at the El Madrigal. Villarreal are no pushovers and have knocked out Napoli and Bayer Leverkusen already this season. The ‘Yellow Submarine’ have a young and dynamic squad with a natural goalscorer in their ranks. Cedric Bakambu has notched nine goals so far and they hope he can add to his tally against Liverpool to guide his side to a first Europa League final.
Cedric Bakambu: The 25 year-old is in devastating form and has nine goals in eleven games. If Villarreal play to his strengths then he is capable of firing Villarreal into the final.
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Shakhtar Donetsk: Only themselves and Liverpool remain unbeaten in the competition and not many teams in Europe would fancy a tricky away trip to Ukraine. After beginning the season in the Champions League, Donetsk were handed a tough group featuring Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain before dropping into the Europa League.
Their demolition of Braga in the last round was no fluke and the Ukrainian champions will be looking to add to their Europa League title in 2009.
Darijo Srna: The Croatian has been a stalwart for the Ukrainian club and his goal and two assists versus Braga in the previous round highlight the threat he poses from right-back.
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Sevilla: The current Europa League holders are not to be underestimated. They know the competition inside out and recent omens are good for the side from Andalucia. They have developed a romance with this competition over the years and will hope that this season it will continue as they go in search of their third successive Europa League title.
Every time Sevilla have reached the last eight of this competition they have gone on to win the trophy.
Yevhen Konoplyanka: The winger is direct and his pace makes him a real threat going forward. The Ukrainian has scored two goals in his six appearances this campaign and can make a real impact when coming off the bench. His talent has been noticed across the continent and there are many Premier League suitors who would take him.
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The winners of the two semi-finals will take part in the Europa League Final in Basel on Wednesday 18th May 2016.