Jurgen Klopp faces his first European semi-final as Liverpool manager when the Reds take on Villarreal in the Europa League.
Liverpool have a proud European pedigree as well as being one of England’s most successful clubs domestically.
But the club’s recent history is not as trophy-laden as fans would have liked with the club’s record in semi-finals in the last ten seasons very mixed, to say the least.
Since the 2006/07 season, Liverpool have been involved in eight semi-finals, both domestically and on the European stage.
However, of those eight appearances in the last four, the Reds have only progressed to the final on half of those occasions and, perhaps even more concerning, have only gone on to win the trophy once – the League Cup in 2012.
If you compare this to the club that usurped them as England’s most successful club, Manchester United, they have been in 12 semi-finals, over the same period progressing to the final 66 per cent of the time and winning a trophy 33 per cent of the time.
Chelsea are the leading lights of England over the last ten seasons having appeared in an incredible 16 semi-finals and winning 11 of them. Even more impressively, they have only lost three of those finals and have therefore picked up eight trophies – and that is excluding their Premier League titles over that period.
Manchester City and Arsenal have won the same number of semi-finals as Liverpool despite only appearing in six and seven respectively (excluding City’s current semi). Moreover, City have gone on to win the trophy 75 per cent of the time and Arsenal half the time.
In fact, Liverpool have the joint worst record in semi-finals out of England’s six most successful clubs over the last ten seasons. Tottenham have also only got through 50 per cent of their semi-final ties but they have played in two fewer than the Reds and still won the same number of trophies.
Liverpool are comfortable favourites to overcome Villarreal but history tells us it is not as straightforward as that, considering the Reds’ last semi-final was last season’s FA Cup defeat to struggling Aston Villa.
Regardless of the opponent, Klopp will have to make sure his side are mentally strong enough to progress and reach their first European final since 2007.