Two absolute giants of European football will lock horns when Barcelona welcome Liverpool at Camp Nou for the first leg of the semifinal. Barcelona have already won the league title in Spain while Liverpool are set to battle it out for English Premier League with Manchester City till the very last moment. However, both the teams will now be focused on the blockbuster semifinal to advance to the final of the biggest club level tournament on the planet.
Barcelona must believe this is their year
Even though Barcelona have had great success in domestic competitions in recent years, they have largely failed in the Champions League. The utter dominance of bitter rivals Real Madrid has meant that the Blaugrana has not won the title in 3 years. A club of Barcelona's stature with Messi firing on all cylinders ought to do more in Champions League.
Barcelona have a golden chance to go on and win the title this year. The tournament has already seen the exits of heavyweights like Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich – leaving Barcelona as the favourites to win the coveted trophy.
Liverpool will make Barcelona sweat
Liverpool have shown how they can trouble the best of the best. Jurgen Klopp's team has a reputation for playing high-intensity direct football which is not easy to deal with. They could smother Barcelona with their relentless press and then they have a fearsome trio of Mane, Salah and Firmino to do the damage.
One could argue that Liverpool are better than they were last season as they seem to have found defensive stability. The Reds were finalists in the competition last year and they have it all to do one better this time.
Competition – UEFA Champions League, Semifinal 1st Leg | Venue – Camp Nou, Barcelona
Date & Time – 2nd May, 12:30 AM IST
Recent Form: Barcelona – D W W W W | Liverpool – W W W W W
Expected Playing XIs
Barcelona – Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Arthur, Busquets, Rakitic; Messi, Suárez, Coutinho
Liverpool – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Barcelona vs Liverpool Playerzpot Fantasy Team
Fantasy picks from Barcelona
Lionel Messi | Coutinho | Suarez
Fantasy picks from Liverpool
Firmino | Mane | Van Dijk