By John Essien
Super Eagles winger Samuel Chukwueze could start for Villarreal when they face Liverpool at Anfield for tonight’s Champions League first-leg semi-final tie.
The Nigerian international scored a dramatic late winner against Bayern Munich in the last eight as Villarreal stunned the German champions to reach the semi-finals for the first time in 16 years.
With their talismanic striker Gerard Moreno ruled out after picking up a muscle problem over the weekend, Coach Unai Emery is left with a selection dilemma.
According to reports in Spain, Tottenham loanee Giovani Lo Celso could be deployed in a more advanced role, potentially moving Manu Trigueros into midfield. While Chukwueze will lead the attack alongside the impressive Arnaut Danjuma, who has been linked with a move to Liverpool.
Danjuma has been inspirational in Villarreal’s Champions League run scoring six time this season.
Ahead of the crucial tie, the 22-year-old insists the Yellow Submarine will not go down against their more fancied opponents.
“We know all about Liverpool and they are expected to win, so the pressure is on them,” Chukwueze said as quoted by BBC Sport Africa.
“We have a squad and manager good enough to compete against any team in the world. Because of the way Liverpool play some people have already made their own predictions but that is normal in football.
“We have a job to do and we are not going to Liverpool to lose. Why not aim for the best result over there? And that is what we hope to do.”
Villarreal predicted XI (4-4-2): Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Estupinan; Parejo, Coquelin, Capoue; Lo Celso; Chukwueze, Danjuma