Liverpool vs Barcelona: Match Preview

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Liverpool will be hosting Barcelona in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final tie. Barcelona won the first leg in Camp Nou by 3-0.

Reds won their last game at Newcastle by 3-2, keeping their Premier League title hopes alive. It was a statement of intent from Jurgen Klopp’s men who dug deep to carve out a victory at St.James’s Park.

Barcelona lost their last game away at Celta Vigo. A game in which Ernesto Valverde decided to rest most of his star men including Messi, Suarez and Pique. They have already wrapped up La Liga title and don’t have to worry about fixtures on the domestic front.

Form

Liverpool – WWWLW

Liverpool has been in great form in recent weeks. They have beaten Chelsea and Tottenham at Anfield last month. They haven’t been beaten at their home ground since 2014 in Champions League. Their defeat at Camp Nou was much down to the poor finishing rather than the overall performance from the team.

Barcelona – WWWWL

Barcelona lost their last game at Celta Vigo by 2-0. Defeat won’t hurt them much as they have already secured La Liga title. The best thing for them was the rest they were able to provide to their key players, this late into the season. Messi and co. will be fresh for their trip to Anfield and would look to continue their good form.

Injury/Suspensions

Liverpool

Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino have been ruled out for the return leg fixture. Adam Lallana and Mohammad Salah are unlikely to play any part either.

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Barcelona

Barcelona got a fresh injury concern after Dembele was substituted just six minutes into the game against Celta. Rafinha will be the other absentee.

Probable Lineups

Liverpool

Formation: 4-3-3

Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Shaqiri, Origi, Mane.

Barcelona

Formation: 4-3-3

ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Suarez, Coutinho.

Stadium

Anfield, Liverpool

Possible Outcome

Absence of Roberto Firmino will be a huge loss for Liverpool. Coming back from 3-0 down against Barcelona is a tough task for any team in the world. Firmino’s absence makes it more difficult for Liverpool.

Barcelona will cautious of a three-goal advantage. They will be well prepared not to repeat mistakes of last season and they do have a poor away record.

Anfield nights have witnessed some memorable performances and turn arounds. If Liverpool has to win this tie they have to produce their most clinical performance of the season so far because chances will be created at both ends.

We expect Liverpool to win the game but not the tie. One away goal and Barcelona can sit back and relax for the rest of the game. But watch out for Anfield’s atmosphere it makes things happen. Remember Man City game last season? Dortmund game in Europa League? I’m just saying tie is not dead yet.

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