Jamie Carragher has his say before showdown .

Jamie Carragher wants Roberto Firmino to play behind Daniel Sturridge

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Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher wants Daniel Sturridge to start in attack for the club in their Europa League semi-final second-leg clash against Villarreal on Thursday night. 

Sturridge failed to secure a place in Jurgen Klopp's starting XI against their Spanish opponents last week, but Carragher has urged the German coach to select Sturridge on this occasion. 

The club's former centre-back has, however, insisted that Sturridge shouldn't necessarily replace Roberto Firmino, claiming that the Brazilian ace could play behind the England international. 


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"I really hope Sturridge starts on Thursday night," Carragher told the Liverpool Echo.

"Not necessarily in place of Firmino because I think he could play just behind. But for me Sturridge has to be in the team."

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Defensively sound 

Carragher has also hailed Villarreal as a 'fantastic defensive side' and has insisted that the Reds won't be handed too many opportunities to score at Anfield this evening. 

The Reds head into the game trailing 1-0 after the first-leg, but Carragher believes the return of Sturridge will give the club a greater chance of securing their place in the final of the competition. 

He continued by saying: "Villarreal are a fantastic defensive side. They score goals but their success this season has been built on their defensive record.

"There won't be a lot of chances. And what chances there are need to be taken. When it comes to finishing, Sturridge is as good as anyone playing in the Europa League or the Champions League this season.

"His goal-scoring record speaks for itself. On a night when chances will be at a premium you need Daniel Sturridge out there."

Swansea City v Liverpool - Premier League


Carragher has also admitted that the game is in the balance, admitting that he would have favoured his former side if they had secured a 0-0 draw in the opening game. 

The Reds legend has, however, insisted that we will see a different Liverpool in front of their home faithful.

"I would have really fancied us if we had held on for a 0-0 over there. But now they have a lead to try to hold on to," Carragher explained.

Liverpool Training and Press Conference

"At times Liverpool looked very comfortable in the first leg but they weren't able to get that away goal which would have been massive.

"It's in the balance. Villarreal are a very good side but we'll see a different Liverpool at Anfield."

The tie is certainly an intriguing one and Liverpool will have to be at their best to reach the final. 

Will Liverpool secure a place in the Europa League final? Have your say below! 

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Premier League
Jamie Carragher
Europa League
Daniel Sturridge

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