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Villarreal strong at home but Liverpool will be tough at Anfield - Senna

Villarreal will aim to lean on their strong home record in their upcoming Europa League semifinal clash with Liverpool, according to ex-Yellow Submarine midfielder Marcos Senna.

Villarreal qualified for the last four of the competition by easing past Sparta Prague in the quarterfinals, while Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool pulled off a dramatic comeback to eliminate Borussia Dortmund on Thursday night.

The two clubs have never met competitively before and the first leg will be played at Villarreal's El Madrigal ground on Thursday, April 28, with the return at Anfield a week later on May 5.

Former Spain international and New York Cosmos star Senna, who works for the club in their Institutional Relations Department, told beIN Sports that the aim was to get an advantage in the first leg and avoid conceding an away goal before they head to Anfield for the return.

"We will try and win the home leg, do our job at home, and not concede an away goal to make it easier," Senna said. "Then we know it will be difficult away.

"We will need to be focused on both legs, for sure, if we want to go through. There are no favourites at this moment, all four teams deserve to be here, have played a lot of football. The team who makes the least mistakes will make the final."

Marcelino's side have won all six of their Europa League games at El Madrigal this season -- scoring 11 goals and conceding one.

"We must keep on our own line from the last ties," Senna added. "We have done very well at home. We are very well prepared, physically and mentally, and hopefully that will continue."

However, Villarreal know how tough a job they will have against Liverpool at Anfield.

"It's [Anfield] a historic stadium, a lovely place to play, they will be a very difficult opponent," he said. "It is a historic club, they are used to winning trophies. We will encounter a very nice atmosphere, very difficult for sure."

With competition holders Sevilla meeting Shakhtar Donetsk in the other semifinal, the chance of an all-Spanish final in Basel on May 18 remains open.

"We are happy with the draw," he said. "We did not want to meet Sevilla, we want to meet them in the final."

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan

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