Santi Cazorla has given his thoughts on Liverpool’s Europa League semi-final with Villarreal, as well as the man he rates as the Reds’ best player.
Liverpool face Villarreal in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final in Spain on Thursday, with Cazorla’s former side hoping to reach their first ever European final.
Villarreal have reached the final four of numerous competitions, including the 2004 UEFA Cup, the 2006 Champions League and the 2011 Europa League, but the Yellow Submarine have never progressed any further.
Cazorla believes his former side can beat Liverpool if they play to their potential, with the Spanish midfielder planning to attend the second leg at Anfield next week.
“It’s a very even tie but I believe if Villarreal play as they can, they have a great chance to go through,” Cazorla told AS. “Any team can suffer at Anfield, and they will suffer for sure. But they key to the tie will be [the first leg] at El Madrigal.
“[Liverpool] have a clear philosophy, they are an intense team up front, they press very high up, but if Villarreal get past this pressure and can move the ball around, they will have made a lot of progress.
He added that Philippe Coutinho is Liverpool’s “best player,” saying: “He makes the difference for them. A lot of their play goes through him.”