Villarreal coach Marcelino is relishing his team’s Europa League semi-final tie against Liverpool, but insists the pressure is on the Premier League outfit who he says are clear favourites.
The Spanish coach has led his team to fourth in La Liga with Champions League qualification a real possibility, while Liverpool have had a tougher time of it on the domestic front.
But despite their contrasting domestic form, Marcelino says Liverpool’s pedigree as five-time European champions makes them the favourites to go through.
“Liverpool might be the favourite. The club, their history and the fact that they knocked out Borussia Dortmund all add up,” Marcelino said.
“But we don’t consider ourselves to be less than them. We are going to give everything from our side to eliminate this legendary team.
“We don’t have any pressure on us. I’m really satisfied with and grateful to this squad for getting to this semi-final.
“We are very hopeful and convinced that we are capable of beating Liverpool, and all the while we’ll be enjoying the occasion.
“We are privileged to be able to play in this semi-final. I felt more pressure in the previous knockout ties.”
While Marcelino insists the pressure is off his side, he wants them to take their opportunity.
“We have the chance to make history at this club now,” he said.
“If we manage to enjoy the match and do the things we know how to do I think they’re going to suffer a lot at our ground.”
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