Cape Town - Villarreal attacking midfielder Denis Suarez says Liverpool deserve respect after seeing off the challenge of Borussia Dortmund in the Europa League quarter-finals.
The Yellow Submarine welcome Jurgen Klopp's men to El Madrigal on Thursday night as they look to lay down a marker in the first leg before travelling to Anfield for the return leg next week.
Suarez is well aware of the threat posed by the Reds, especially after their memorable victory over Dortmiund in the quarter-final second-leg, but was quick to point out Villarreal were confident in their own ability.
"We have seen portions of the game [Liverpool's win over Dortmund]. It was incredible," Suarez told Goal website. "Liverpool eliminated a team that I think was the favourite for the title. And so you have to respect them a lot.
"They have a great team and a great squad, and although we have nothing to envy, we do respect them a lot.
"Of course [an-all Spanish final is the target]. But first we have a very tough tie against Liverpool in the semi-finals. Hopefully it will be like that."
He added: "I've followed Klopp since he was at Dortmund. His teams are tactically very good, with great intensity, rapid transitions, effective in attack, and I think Liverpool are also making their mark.
"They are a great team and will be a very, very difficult opponent for Villarreal."
Suarez has made 12 starts and four substitute appearances in the Europa League this season, bagging one goal and eight assists.