Barcelona will travel to Anfield to take on Liverpool in the second leg of the Champions League semifinals. An impressive 3-0 result at the Camp Nou has given Ernesto Valverde’s men more breathing space for this tough away game.
The Spanish heavyweights will be the favourites to progress, but funnier things have happened in football in the past. Barcelona doesn’t need to look too far off as they surrendered a 4-1 advantage from the first leg against AS Roma last year. Therefore the tie is far from over, and Valverde needs to make sure that his players don’t get complacent against the English heavyweights.
The beauty of wrapping up the La Liga is that the Blaugrana would get a chance to lineup a fresh squad in this game as Barcelona made some wholesale changes in the league clash against Celta Vigo recently. Ousmane Dembele is a major doubt as he suffered an injury early on against Celta. Rafinha is also likely to miss out once again.
Barcelona Predicted Lineup vs Liverpool
Marc Andre Ter Stegen played a massive role in keeping a clean sheet in the first leg, and he will start once again in goal. Clement Lenglet and Gerard Pique should be back in the starting eleven after getting a rest over the weekend. The duo is expected to occupy the two centre back positions. Nelson Semedo can get a start over Sergi Roberto down the right. Jordi Alba is a nailed on starter from the left side of the defence.
Like most senior players, Sergio Busquets should also be fresh, and he will start in the deepest role in midfield. Ivan Rakitic is expected to play in the midfield three. It could be toss up between Arturo Vidal and Arthur Melo for the other midfield spot. We are going in with Arthur but don’t be surprised if Vidal gets to start after he impressed in a cameo in the first leg.
With Dembele out injured, Philippe Coutinho is likely to get the nod to start on the left side. Dembele’s pace would have suited the away side in this game as Liverpool would try to play on the front foot, and Barcelona could be restricted to playing on counter attacks. Dembele’s pace could have come in handy if he was available.
Luis Suarez was at his combative best in the first leg, and he will again revel on the chance of scoring at Anfield. He will be expected to lead the line. The one and only Lionel Messi will complete the front three, and he will start down the right.