A mountain to climb but Reds have “no fear” – Liverpool vs. Barcelona Preview

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Liverpool host Barcelona with a 3-0 deficit to overturn in their Champions League semi-final tie — but the Reds have no fear despite the challenge.

Liverpool vs. Barcelona

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 – 8pm (BST)
Anfield
Champions League Semi-Final, Second Leg
Referee: Cuneyt Cakir (TUR)


What a remarkable Reds side this is. The heart that they showed to win late on at Newcastle on Saturday night was admirable, following their excursions at the Nou Camp last week.

It perfectly highlighted the spirit and winning mentality that Jurgen Klopp has created at the club and it will need to be on show again in midweek.

Barca’s aforementioned 3-0 triumph in the first leg was a harsh result, considering Liverpool dominated for large periods but couldn’t find the net.

It leaves Klopp’s men needing to produce their greatest Champions League comeback since Istanbul.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - Wednesday, May 1, 2019: FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring the second goal during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg match between FC Barcelona and Liverpool FC at the Camp Nou. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Anfield will be a raucous place on Tuesday evening, though, and if the Reds can nab an early goal Barca’s resolve will be tested.

On the flip side, just one goal for Ernesto Valverde’s side leaves Liverpool needing to score five, and they will find it hard to keep out the world’s best player in Lionel Messi, as well as returning pair Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho.

Even by the Reds’ standards this would be remarkable, but the stunning season they have put together is proof that they are by no means out of the contest.

Admittedly, key figures are missing and legs will be feeling heavy, but anything is possible at Anfield on a European night.

 

Team News

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, May 6, 2019: Liverpool's Sadio Mane during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool have suffered a major injury blow ahead of the game, with Mohamed Salah ruled out with a concussion suffered at Newcastle.

Roberto Firmino is also absent and will reportedly miss the remainder of the season with an adductor problem, putting huge pressure on Sadio Mane to perform.

It will require big performances from a few fringe players, too, with Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge all pushing for a start.

Naby Keita is also out for the season after limping off with a groin problem in the first leg, as Klopp’s squad is tested to the limit.

There is mystery surrounding who else could start and miss out, with only 14 outfield players taking part in Monday’s open session.

Virgil van Dijk, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana all trained separately in order to manage their workload, and there is uncertainty over their involvement.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is expected to start after being left out at the Nou Camp, however, especially after his two assists helped Liverpool beat Newcastle.

Joel Matip could partner Dejan Lovren, who produced a shaky performance at St James’ Park, although Joe Gomez is an option at right-back or centre-back.

Fabinho, Jordan Henderson, Gini Wijnaldum and James Milner will battle for three starting spots in midfield.

Barcelona will be without winger Ousmane Dembele, but Valverde otherwise has no injury concerns.

Liverpool Squad Training on Monday

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, May 6, 2019: Liverpool's Dejan Lovren during a training session at Melwood Training Ground ahead of the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Barcelona. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Goalkeepers: Alisson, Mignolet, Kelleher

Defenders: Matip, Lovren, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold, Robertson

Midfielders: Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum, Milner

Forwards: Mane, Origi, Sturridge, Shaqiri, Brewster

Training separately: Van Dijk, Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain

 

Last 5 Meetings with Barcelona (All Competitions)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - Wednesday, May 1, 2019: FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi scores the third goal from a free-kick during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg match between FC Barcelona and Liverpool FC at the Camp Nou. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lost 3-0 (a) – May 2019 (Suarez, Messi x2)
Lost 1-0 (h) – March 2007 (Gudjohnsen)
Won 2-1 (a) – February 2007 (Deco; Bellamy, Riise)
Drew 0-0 (a) – March 2002
Lost 3-1 (h) – November 2001 (Owen; Kluivert, Rochemback, Overmars)

 

Did You Know?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 24, 2018: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop hold up their scarves as they sing "You'll Never Walk Alone" before the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and AS Roma at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 21 matches at Anfield in Europe, dating back to the 3-0 defeat to Real Madrid in October 2014, in the Champions League group stage.

That was seen as a low point for the Reds, with Brendan Rodgers’ side not competing with the Liga giants and the home crowd almost treating the visitors like royalty.

Since then, however, Liverpool have been superb, with memorable victories over Man United, Borussia Dortmund, Villarreal, Man City, Roma, Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli all secured, among others.

Klopp’s promise to make Anfield a fortress again has come to fruition in emphatic fashion.

 

Form

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Saturday, May 4, 2019: Liverpool's Divock Origi scores the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Liverpool FC at St. James' Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 3-2 vs. Newcastle
Lost 3-0 vs. Barcelona
Won 5-0 vs. Huddersfield
Won 2-0 vs. Cardiff
Won 4-1 vs. Porto

Barcelona – Last five results (all competitions)

Lost 2-0 vs. Celta Vigo
Won 3-0 vs. Liverpool
Won 1-0 vs. Levante
Won 2-0 vs. Alaves
Won 2-1 vs. Real Sociedad

 

Klopp’s View

Speaking at his press conference on Monday, Klopp said perfection is required against Barca, also calling for a “party” atmosphere at Anfield:

“It looks like you have to be perfect, we should try that. That’s all, doing it step by step.

“Creating an atmosphere, using an atmosphere, celebrating the situation with good football.

“It should be a football party, we don’t drink during the game so we should celebrate it with football.

“It’s possible it will be the last Champions League game of the campaign, so let’s celebrate it, with our legs, our lungs, good decisions, sensational atmosphere.

“Then we will see what the outcome is.”

 

Live Blog & TV Info

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 11, 2018: A view of Liverpool's famous Shankly Gates, featuring "You'll Never Walk Alone" General (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool vs. Barcelona is live on BT Sport 2 from 7pm (BST), with kickoff at 8pm.

Ben Twelves is in charge of This is Anfield’s matchday live blog from 7.15pm, as the Reds look to pull off the near impossible and reach another Champions League final.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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