Europa League: We will make Liverpool suffer, says Villarreal manager
Madrid: Villarreal manager Marcelino insists his side are more than equal to Europa League favourites Liverpool and hopes the visitors "suffer" at El Madrigal.
The Reds' dramatic win to put out Borussia Dortmund in the last round immediately made Jurgen Klopp's team top of the betting to lift the trophy in Basle next month.
But Marcelino believes Villarreal, fourth in La Liga but 20 points behind third-placed Real Madrid, are a match.
"Liverpool might be the favourite - the club, their history and the fact that they knocked out Borussia Dortmund all add up - but we don't consider ourselves to be less than them," he told a press conference ahead of their semi-final first leg.
"We are going to give everything from our side to eliminate this legendary team.
"We don't have any pressure on us. I'm really satisfied with and grateful to this squad for getting to this semi-final.
"We are very hopeful and convinced that we are capable of beating Liverpool, and all the while we'll be enjoying the occasion.
"I felt more pressure in the previous knockout ties. We have the chance to make history at this club now.
"If we manage to enjoy the match and do the things we know how to do I think they're going to suffer a lot at our ground."
Villarreal have lost all three previous European semi-finals they have contested and striker Roberto Soldado, the former Tottenham misfit, admits it would be a major achievement to take the next step.
"It would be a very big achievement for Villarreal to get through to the final. It's what we're all dreaming about," said the Spaniard, who himself has been a beaten semi-finalists twice already.
"We strongly believe in our chances, although we know it's going to be difficult.
"This excitement must help us to play to our top level. We shouldn't feel any pressure but go out there and enjoy the moment that we're going to live together, players and fans alike."