Having sold out a well-drilled tactical performance that capped off a brilliant night in the first-leg semifinal tie against Liverpool, Spanish giants FC Barcelona head to Anfield, one of European football’s most atmospheric venues to finalize their claim to a place in this season’s UEFA Champions league final.
A week ago, the Camp Nou stadium was the venue of thrill with the rest of the football world witnessing a typical Ernesto Valverde masterclass as the Barcelona manager, aided by superstar Lionel Messi and his Blaugrana teammates turned heads in Europe by exercising firm hand on one of world football’s most menacing sides.
Tonight’s return encounter will not have the same cast on duty with a depleted Liverpool attack without key performers, Mohammed Salah and Roberto Firmino. Injuries to two of Liverpool’s front-three has soured the English club’s expectations for the night as German manager, Jurgen Klopp finds himself in a most uncomfortable place, having to play two of his least trusted performers with huge boots to fill on the night.
Barcelona will be wary of the cost of complacency with last season’s shocking elimination by Italian side, AS Roma after failing to hold on to a 4-1 advantage.
An entertaining game is expected tonight as two of Europe’s most must-see sides lace boots in a historic stadium with the massive world of football at full audience.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Busquets, Rakitic; Messi, Suárez, Coutinho
Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Shaqiri, Origi, Mané