PREVIEW By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens

Daniel Sturridge must start on Thursday night against Villarreal as Liverpool seek the minimum of the one goal they require to reach their first European final for nine years.

Roberto Firmino was the spearhead for the first leg of the Europa League semi-final but it did not work and Christian Benteke also comes into the reckoning to lead the line after scoring at the weekend.

But Sturridge is comfortably Liverpool’s best finisher and, on a night when chances are likely to be at a premium, the striker should be given the chance that he has been denied in the last three European matches.

Sturridge is also in fine goalscoring form. He netted in four consecutive Premier League matches before drawing a blank against Swansea.

If Sturridge gets the nod, that would leave Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana to start in attacking midfield and two of Emre Can, James Milner, Lucas and Joe Allen to play behind the holy trinity.

The big decisions for Klopp are not only who should spearhead but the attack but the identity of the central midfielders.

It is expected that Kolo Toure will once again partner Dejan Lovren at centre-back, given the continuing difficulties of Martin Skrtel.

Lucas was initially on the bench for the 3-1 defeat at Swansea on Sunday, which suggested the veteran was being saved for Villarreal, either as the midfield anchorman or in a centre-back position in which he has looked very comfortable during a number of matches this season, including the League Cup final defeat to Manchester City.

However, the return of Can to training ahead of schedule has altered the equation for Liverpool.

The Germany international has been a mainstay of the central midfield since Klopp took the helm last October and, if he is deemed fit enough to play, could be fast-tracked back into the team.

In-form assists chief Milner is also a nailed-on starter for all the marquee matches, either in central midfield or in one of the three attacking midfielders behind the striker.

Liverpool (possible): Mignolet; Clyne, Toure, Lovren, Moreno; Can, Milner; Lallana, Firmino, Coutinho; Sturridge.

In other Liverpool team news, the Merseysiders have been given a fitness update on another big-name attacker.