Liverpool v Villarreal combined XI

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Liverpool secured passage to the semi-finals of the Europa League in the most dramatic way possible. A 4-3 win at Anfield against German giants Borussia Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp's former employer, secured a dramatic 5-4 aggregate victory in one of the greatest ever European ties.

Villarreal were drawn as the Reds' opponents for the final four, with the Spanish side disposing of Czech club Sparta Prague 6-3 on aggregate, winning 4-2 in the away leg.

The Yellow Submarine are currently enjoying a very positive campaign domestically and have really gelled as a unit this season under Marcelino with the club currently placed fourth in La Liga.


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Klopp's side have endured a mixed campaign domestically but have improved of late and the promise of Champions League football as a reward from the competition makes the tie even more intriguing.

Here is a combined starting 11 from the two clubs set to face off in what could be a hugely enthralling tie.

Goalkeeper - Alphonse Areola (Villarreal)

The French shot-stopper has deputised for the injured Sergio Asenjo this season, making 34 appearances in all competitions.

The 23-year-old has been a shining light of consistency for Villarreal this season, establishing himself as part of one of Spain's toughest defences.

Superb reflexes, as well as a commanding presence, make Areola the complete goalkeeping package and Liverpool will struggle to get the better of him.

Right Back - Mario Gaspar (Villarreal)

The Spanish right-back gained fame in the English press for scoring a sensational bicycle kick for Spain in a friendly against England this season.

Aside from that moment of brilliance the Villarreal man is also a hugely effective defender, one who has forged a very impressive reputation in La Liga.

Combative and offensively astute, Gaspar has had a very impressive season and Villarreal have benefitted from his versatility and consistency throughout 2015/16. He is very worthy of his place in Vicente Del Bosque's national setup.

Centre Back - Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool)

Despite having his fair share of critics, Sakho seems a man reborn under Klopp. The defender may not be the most graceful on the ball nor indeed the best passer, but his tenacity and leadership have been a breath of fresh air at Liverpool.

His equaliser against Dortmund at Anfield was a just reward for another top performance and we are now starting to see the best of the Frenchman.

Not your archetypal modern day centre back but an effective one in this Liverpool side.

Centre Back - Victor Ruiz (Villarreal)

The former Valencia defender signed permanently for he Yellow Submarine in the summer and has impressed at the club this season.

Intelligent positioning and interceptive skills have seen him become a permanent fixture in La Liga this season, making himself part of one of the most feared defences in the division.

A smart piece of business, the 27-year-old will certainly prove a difficult obstacle for Liverpool.

Left Back - Alberto Moreno (Liverpool)

The Spanish full-back can get caught out defensively but his attacking prowess has been a very useful weapon for Liverpool this season.

Direct and a superb change of pace, the former Sevilla man can wreak havoc down the left-hand side at his best.

His final ball could be improved upon, but overall he has made a fairly positive contribution to Klopp's side this season and looks to be finding some consistent form.

Centre Midfield - Bruno (Villarreal)

The experienced head in what is a young Villarreal midfield, Bruno has been a rock this season from his central role, regularly leading by example and establishing himself as a hugely competent leader.

Defensively brilliant with an eye for a key pass, the Spanish midfielder is the perfect shield for the Yellow Submarine's defence and has arguably had his finest season at the club this term.

Centre Midfield - James Milner (Liverpool)

Despite operating as more of a forward-thinking player for the majority of his career, Milner has deputised very well in a central midfield role for Liverpool this season.

A creative player with excellent positioning and discipline makes the England man the complete midfield package with his performance away at Borussia Dortmund arguably his finest since arriving from Manchester City.

Milner has also recorded eight assists since the turn of the year, highlighting the output is now producing for Klopp's side.

Attacking Midfield - Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)

Despite struggling in the early stages of the season, Firmino has really proved his worth to Liverpool in recent months.

A hugely capable attacking force, the Brazilian has a very keen eye for goal as well as the capability to produce the spectacular.

His link-up play with the rest of the side has also been impressive and the former Hoffenheim player has the potential to be a very important player for his side in the foreseeable future.

Attacking Midfield - Denis Suarez (Villarreal)

22-year-old Suarez has been something of a revelation in La Liga this season, announcing himself as a potential world star.

Creativity, versatility, and maturity have become synonymous with the youngster who has recorded nine assists in all competitions this season.

He still has a lot to learn about his trade but the signs look very positive for another talented Spaniard.

Attacking Midfield - Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)

The Brazilian has become a cult figure at Anfield since his move from Inter Milan with his array of spectacular goals for the club a huge reason for this reputation.

Despite an injury-interrupted season, Coutinho has still proved how vital he is to this Liverpool side, making a significant contribution in recent games.

His superb strike against Dortmund was a catalyst for one of Europe's most memorable comebacks and there is most certainly more to come from one of the Premier League's mercurial forces.

Striker - Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool)

Divock Origi has been in impressive form as a central striker of late, however, Sturridge still remains the most potent offensive force in Klopp's squad.

Pace, dribbling, and clinical finishing make the England man one of the most complete strikers in Europe, one who inspires fear in the sternest of defences.

Injuries have halted his progression in the last year but Liverpool's potential for European success could hinge on the form of their finest striker.

Who do you think should be in the combined XI? Have YOUR say in the comment box below!

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Steven Gerrard
La Liga
Europa League
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