UEFA Champions League: Liverpool vs Barcelona – preview, line-ups, prediction
Jurgen Klopp wards will try to make a miracle after a hard defeat at Camp Nou.
The result at Camp Nou was pretty surprising for Jurgen Klopp and his entire coaching staff. Despite the fact that Barcelona were the Reds’ rivals, a 0:3 score turned out to be an extremely unfair result, regarding Liverpool’s great game in the match.
Denying the power of Barcelona is stupid. Valverde knew what Klopp’s coaching headquarters would prepare for his team. First of all, Liverpool tried to defeat Barcelona with their own weapon – the ball control and positional attack. It is difficult for Barcelona to handle such an opponent.
Though, it is quite difficult to guess what will happen at Anfield. On the eve, Valverde gave rest to almost every key player of his team, while Liverpool had the hardest game against Newcastle (3:2).
For sure, Barcelona’s main priority will be to score a quick goal or just a goal in order to reassure the game for themselves and own it until the very end of the match. The beginning of the match can decide the game’s scenario.
You can expect a viscous game from the Reds. In case of Valverde’s team attacks, the Reds will count on quick counter-attacks.
Barcelona know how to pick up the ball from an opponent. However, the Spanish club hasn’t met with such teams as Liverpool for a long time. The fight at Camp Nou showed that it was difficult for Blaugranas to completely seize the initiative against the backdrop of such Liverpool.
Unpleasant news from Liverpool’s infirmary – Mohammed Salah will miss the upcoming game because of a bad concussion in the match against Newcastle. Other key players – Firmino, Keita and Lallana won’t be available as well. Based on this, it can be assumed that Mane, Sturridge and Wijnaldum will combine the team’s attacking trio. Fabinho will take Keita’s place. Virgil van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were working in accordance with individual programs the day before the match, however, both will be able to take part in the match.
Barcelona have only Ousmane Dembele among the losses. The player was injured in the recent match against Celta (0:2). However, the absence of the Frenchman won’t bring Valverde much of a headache.
Liverpool: Alisson — Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson — Fabinho, Henderson, Milner — Wijnaldum, Sturridge, Mane
Barcelona: Ter Stegen — Sergi Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba — Busquets, Rakitic, Vidal — Messi, Suarez, Coutinho
Players to note: Van Dijk, Mane — Messi, Coutinho
Time: 20.00 GMT
Venue: Anfield, Liverpool
(Reporting by Nathan Dent, editing by Valerie Cooper)