Often there are few more dangerous opponents than those who have nothing to lose and Villarreal feel as though they are in that position against Jurgen Klopp‘s Liverpool.
The Reds are heavy favourites in their semi-final clash against Villarreal, despite the Spanish side having knocked out both Bayern Munich and Juventus in the preceding rounds.
Unai Emery was heralded by Klopp as the “king of the cups” and the Liverpool boss knows not to underestimate a Villarreal side that, on paper, many assume to be part of an ‘easy’ route to the final.
It’s not lost on Villarreal that they are being overlooked once more but they are ready to spring another “surprise” with a “nothing to lose” mentality.
But defender Pau Torres feels Liverpool will be more “humble” in their approach to the tie than Bayern Munich were, knowing full well that the two legs will be no walk in the park.
“They are the clear favourites right now; they are in great form,” Torres, who has started every Champions League game this season, told Marca of the Reds.
“They don’t seem to be, and they take advantage of any slip-up at the slightest opportunity. We have to know who we’re up against, and it’s okay to recognize that they are favourites.
“But so were Juve and Bayern. We are here to prepare for it, work on it and continue to cause surprises. In the end, we have nothing to lose; on the contrary.
“We are very hungry to do great things.
“We’ll be less of a surprise because we’ve just eliminated Juve and Bayern, so Liverpool will be a little more humble than Bayern were and will prepare thoroughly knowing what we’re capable of.”
And as for the challenge of defending against Liverpool’s interchangeable and prolific forwards, Torres said: “Salah, Mane, Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz…there are many and they are very good.
“Each one with their characteristics but all with the common speed. We will have to be very attentive, defend as a team, that gives us many things.”