Barcelona v Liverpool Betting Preview: Latest odds, team news, tips and predictions

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Barcelona v Liverpool

Champions League: Tue, 07/05  Stadium: Anfield

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Sadio Mane will feel he owes his side after fluffing his lines and missing a golden chance in the first leg, and is good value to keep up his impressive Champions League record by netting anytime at 6/4 with Bet365. The overall result is harder to call, and a draw at 11/4 looks the most likely outcome, available again with Bet365. For the romantics out there, Liverpool to win by four goals and reach the final is available at an improbable 22/1 with Betfair, although a score draw at 10/3 with the same firm may be the more sensible option.

*Odds correct at time of publication.

Liverpool take on Spanish Champions Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League Semi-Final, with a mountain to climb following their calamitous first leg result.

Another magical night on the cards?

Normally with any team trialling 3-0 from the first leg against an opposition team featuring the likes of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, the tie would be normally be considered a formality with little prospect of a turnaround. However Anfield has a funny habit of delivering magical European nights, and rarely does a season in Europe go by for the home side without a memorable performance that goes down in folklore.

Under Jurgen Klopp the Reds have kept up this fine tradition, with a number of standout results already under the German. A 4-3 victory against Borussia Dortmund from 3-1 down in his first season in charge, a 3-0 rout of Manchester City, and a storming 5-2 win over AS Roma in last season’s Semi Final. This year has provided slightly less fireworks, with a last gasp 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain in the group stages being the most eye catching result. In many respects no visiting side has yet been caught up in true Anfield storm, something that will not be lost on the visitors, who will not be booking their plane tickets for the final just yet.

Catalan giants primed for sixth Champions League title?

Barcelona’s attempt to land their sixth Champions League title (and move one ahead of Liverpool) have been largely untroubled, as the Catalan club have serenely progressed through the group and knockout stages. A 4-2 win at Liverpool’s fellow Premier League rivals Tottenham in the group stages emphasized the quality within their team when they need to step it up a level, and with a 1-0 over Manchester United also bagged in the knockout stages they will feel confident of making it a hat-trick of wins in England this season.

Regardless of whether they face them again in the final or Ajax, they will be overwhelming favourites to land the prize they have been craving year in year out, especially after seeing bitter rivals Real Madrid win the big prize three seasons in a row. With some of their key players the wrong side of 30 (Messi, Suarez, Busquets and Pique) they may be hard pressed to match their rival’s achievement of winning the Champions League threes time in a row, but with Messi still fit and firing on all cylinders anything would seem possible.

Team News

The big news for Liverpool is that both Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino will both miss the tie. Salah will not be risked after sustaining concussion in the dramatic 3-2 win at Newcastle on Saturday, whilst Firmino’s season appears to be over because of a torn muscle, despite coming on for a small cameo in the first leg. Naby Keita is also ruled out after a groin injury sustained in the first leg, pushing Klopp’s resources to the limit. The likes of Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri may finally get the chance to take centre stage in the absence of the two of Liverpool’s fearsome front three.

Barcelona by contrast have few if any problems, with Ousmane Dembele the only doubt after he limped out of the 2-0 defeat at Celta Vigo at the weekend. Barcelona rested their entire starting XI from the first leg in that game, and look likely to start with the same team that dispatched Liverpool 3-0 at the Camp Nou.

Barca to come through the initial storm and make the final

Despite their fearsome reputation at home on big European nights, this feels like a step too far even for Liverpool, especially with key forwards Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino out of the equation. With those two in their ranks they still would have had a glimmer of hope of turning things around, with the 3-0 blitzing of Manchester City last season at home a good example of how even the best teams can become unstuck in the Anfield cauldron. The Reds will come out swinging in the opening exchanges, but expect Barcelona to draw their sting and settle in their passing rhythm and keep the hosts at arms length for long enough to ease themselves into the final.

Sadio Mane will feel he owes his side after fluffing his lines and missing a golden chance in the first leg, and is good value to keep up his impressive Champions League record by netting anytime at 6/4 with Bet365. The overall result is harder to call, and a draw at 11/4 looks the most likely outcome, available again with Bet365. For the romantics out there, Liverpool to win by four goals and reach the final is available at an improbable 22/1 with Betfair, although a score draw at 10/3 with the same firm may be the more sensible option.

*Odds correct at time of publication.

 

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