Football

Benteke has endured a tricky season .

Marcelino claims Christian Benteke signing cost as much as Villarreal turnover

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Villarreal manager Marcelino has taken a subtle dig at Liverpool ahead of this evening's Europa League semi-final second-leg showdown at Anfield. 

Marcelino has insisted that Liverpool's '50million euros' signing Christian Benteke 'equates to the whole turnover of Villarreal'.

Benteke signed for the Reds from Aston Villa in the summer transfer window but has endured a torrid period on Merseyside. 

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The Belgium international, who has struggled to maintain his fitness recently, has failed to produce the goods on a consistent basis and has fallen down the pecking order under Jurgen Klopp's guidance. 

It remains to be seen, then, as to whether Benteke will be handed an opportunity to prove his credentials on Thursday night as the Reds attempt to secure their place in the final of the competition. 

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Subtle dig 

The Reds head into the game trailing 1-0 but will most definitely believe that they can overcome their Spanish opponents. 

And Marcelino believes 'a different Liverpool' will show up in front of their home faithful.

Ahead of the crunch tie, the Villarreal boss stated, as per The Sun: "Liverpool have an extraordinary squad when you consider Benteke cost 50million euros, which equates to the whole turnover of Villarreal.

Liverpool Training and Press Conference

"I think we will see a different Liverpool.

"They will try to press us further up the field. I think they may be a bit more direct.

"I think we might possibly see a new system and a change in personnel. All those factors will not affect us in any way.

"We think we know how Liverpool can be dangerous to us and we also know where we can cause problems in their weaker areas.

"The game will be decided by the team who are more assured at key moments in the game.

They will give everything 

Marcelino has insisted that his side are going to 'give everything' and claims his side will enjoy the contest. 

He continued by saying: "We come here full of hope, we are going to give everything we have got and we will enjoy ourselves.

Sparta Prague v Villarreal CF - UEFA Europa League Quarter Final: Second Leg

"Our main aim is to be competitive. We feel we have the capabilities we can make it through to the final.

"This group of players needs to be proud of what they have achieved as we are already qualified for the Champions League.

"This is an occasion to be celebrated. In no way whatsoever will we be affected negatively by the atmosphere, if anything we will be affected positively and galvanised by it."

Who will progress to the Europa League final: Liverpool or Villarreal? Have your say below! 

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Topics:
Steven Gerrard
La Liga
Football
Premier League
Europa League
Liverpool
Christian Benteke

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