Villarreal travel to Liverpool on Tuesday with clear ideas about how to approach the game at Anfield and with just a doubt . Of course, the most important that the Yellow Submarine can have and that is none other than that of its ‘franchise player’ Gerald Moreno.
The Catalan soccer player has been between cottons throughout the week and since he was forced to ask for change for some muscle discomfort in the Spanish League match against Getafe. Despite the fact that at first the worst was feared when it came to the hamstring area and given the footballer’s precedents this season, it was Unai Emery himself who reassured the yellow fans when ruling out a serious injury a few days later and confirming that it was an overload.
The striker has worked on his recovery in recent days and will wait until the last minute to decide whether or not to include him in the team. Coach, player and medical staff will have to analyze their physical condition in the next few hours and assess the risks of the decision for a match that, yes, happens to be one of the most important of the season. Although the team will also ponder the fact of staying in La Cerámica for the second leg a week later.
Key against Juventus
Gerard Moreno repeats in the semifinals a situation very similar to that of the round of 16 that the yellows disputed before the Juventus. After missing the first leg played at La Cerámica, the international striker arrived in time to play the final stretch of the match in Italy. And his contribution was decisive. Emery opted for the Catalan with 16 minutes remaining and with a scoreless draw, and with Gerard on the field the game turned around. The first ball he touched was the pass that led to the penalty to Coquelin a few seconds after jumping onto the pitch. The striker himself was in charge of materializing it to open the scoring. His was the play that also ended the third and final goal that sentenced the yellow classification.
Injuries have only allowed Gerard to be able to play 19 games as a starter this season, which has not been an impediment for him to have scored 12 points and distributed seven assists. Numbers, yes, that due to physical problems are far from those signed last season where he accumulated a total of 30 goals along with another ten assists.