Barcelona vs. Liverpool - Champions League Semifinals Preview

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

By Jonathan Willis
Champions League Barcelona vs. Liverpool

Luis Suarez and Phillipe Coutinho are sure to hear the boo birds on their return to Anfield. Barcelona are up 3-0 after the first leg of their Champions League tie with Liverpool, and both players had a hand in Liverpool’s defeat last Wednesday. They know that a road goal would force Liverpool to score five times in order to advance, so they will be after that goal throughout the second leg of this tie.

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FC Barcelona vs. Liverpool FC

  • Date and Time: May 7, 2019, 3 p.m. ET
  • Location: Anfield, Liverpool, England
  • US Television Coverage: TNT, Univision
  • Betting Line: Liverpool FC -0.5, O/U 3 and 3.5
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Last week’s match ended with a 3-0 win for Barcelona, but that scoreline is not very indicative of how the game played out. Liverpool had some glorious chances throughout the match, and they had more possession than Barcelona did. However, they were unable to convert on their opportunities, while the Blaugrana cashed in on theirs.

Barcelona knocked in their first goal midway through the first half. Jordi Alba attacked up the flank like he is wont to do, and he delivered a beautiful through ball that Luis Suarez tipped past Alisson to put Barca up 1-0. Then, Lionel Messi took over. Messi netted a brace, and he scored his 600th career goal for Barcelona with his second tally.

His second goal added to his incredible legacy. Messi beautifully bent a 30-meter free kick around the wall and past an outstretched Alisson to send Camp Nou into a frenzy. He could have had an assist just before the final whistle too, but Ousmane Dembele blew a one-on-one chance with the goalkeeper that Messi set up.

Key Absences

Naby Keita came off 21 minutes into Wednesday’s match with a pulled groin muscle, and the Liverpool midfielder will be unavailable for the next few weeks. Meanwhile, Adam Lallana is doubtful to play. The only player on Barcelona’s injury report is Rafinha, but Barca are used to playing without him. The midfielder was lost for the season in late 2018.

Liverpool FC Player to Watch

Sadio Mane gave Barcelona’s back line fits last week. Their defense struggles with speedy forwards and Mane was a constant threat. Mane was setting things up with his passing and opening lanes up with his pace and spacing, but he was unable to turn that into a goal. Like almost everyone else on Liverpool, Mane missed a great chance against Barca, so he will look to make amends. He has 20 goals in Premier League play this season, just one behind teammate Mo Salah for the most in the league.

FC Barcelona Player to Watch

Marc-Andre ter Stegen had an incredible game in goal for Barcelona last week. He made a brilliant save on Salah and shut down James Milner twice to preserve a clean sheet. He was every bit the hero considering the chances his back line gave up, as only Gerard Pique had a solid game among the defenders. Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba gave up runs on the flanks, and Clement Lenglet had some real issues in defense. Ter Stegen managed to hold it together, but he knows Liverpool are likely to swarm him again in Anfield.

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The scoreboard operator will be busy in this match. Liverpool knows they can find some advantages against this Barcelona team, and they will be able to grab some goals. However, Barcelona will be looking to attack, knowing the lead isn’t safe if they just defend, so the over is a great play.

Champions League Prediction: Liverpool FC 3, FC Barcelona 1

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