Liverpool are set to face a stiff challenge from Barcelona in the Champions League semi finals with the first leg at Camp Nou Wednesday night. It’s no surprise that the Spanish giants are tournament favourites as they look to continue their unbeaten run in Europe this season.
With the Premier League title race now out of their hands, Jürgen Klopp’s side will perceive a sixth Champions League triumph as their best chance of silverware this campaign.
Despite Barcelona’s dominance both domestically and in Europe this year, Liverpool do have a blueprint for success mapped out by AS Roma in last years quarter-finals. Roma, who trailed 4-1 from the opening leg, produced an astounding 3-0 comeback in the return fixture at Stadio Olimpico.
Armed with the ability and confidence of overcoming any opponent in Anfield, the Merseysiders can afford to settle for a score draw or narrow defeat in the away leg Wednesday night.
Much of Liverpool’s proficiency this season has come from their attacking firepower. The Reds have only failed to score 6 times out of 48 games in all competitions, scoring 2 goals or more on 28 occasions. This suggests Liverpool should manage to find the back of the Camp Nou net at least once.
Match-up wise, Liverpool’s pacey fullback’s should be well suited to face Barca’s traditional style, however should the Liverpool defence lapse in discipline, the Catalan side are equipped with two of the best dead ball specialists in World football in Messi and Coutinho.
When Barcelona play at their best, their brand of football is a thing of beauty, but they are yet to be tested in this competition by a team of equal calibre and must improve from their victory over Manchester United in the last round if they are to deny Liverpool a consecutive Champions League final appearance.
Both sides will relish an opportunity to face either Spurs or Ajax in the final on June 1st at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid. The Barcelona players might have the experience, but the Liverpool players should have more hunger that comes from chasing that elusive first one.
2 pt win – Liverpool to Qualify 6/5 (BetXS)
By Ciarán Cunningham, 30/04/2019