This is what football is all about: two European juggernauts firing on all cylinders with everything to play for. Whether this will be a recipe for a classic remains to be seen but all the ingredients are certainly there.
There’s still questions regarding the injury status of some players – Roberto Firmino in particular – but as we saw from Liverpool’s 5-0 mauling of Huddersfield, they are still plenty capable even if he is absent for this match. So then, we should be able to expect a truly excellent game of football here.
Barcelona come into this having won the La Liga with games to spare, while Jürgen Klopp’s men have been undefeated this year for all but the first week of 2019. Each team’s form has been sensational over the last few months and we can’t wait to see who, if anyone, budges when these two heavyweights collide.
Barcelona vs Liverpool Prediction: Barcelona 2-1 Liverpool
While both of these teams are the cream of the crop of European football, we do think that the home side have the slightest of edges here. First off, their La Liga victory means the pressure is off Barcelona in the domestic leagues. Meanwhile, Liverpool are still locked in an exhausting race with Manchester City for the Premier League crown. Liverpool’s divided attention and Barcelona’s home advantage is what we think will be the difference makers here. However, we do not think this will be an easy or comprehensive victory, with our prediction being that Barcelona scrape by with a hard-fought 2-1 win.
Our recommended tip: Barcelona win
The home team hold the advantage heading into this Champions League semi-final clash. Barcelona have a 51% win probability to Liverpool’s 23% win probability. In fact, the stats show that a drawn result is actually slightly more likely than an away win at 26%. At the bookmakers, fans of the English team will find medium-risk 3/1 match odds. Meanwhile, supporters of the Spanish side have low-risk 5/6 odds on a win. Therefore, for your best chance of earning a ROI on your wager, we recommend that you back the favourites to victory here.
It may surprise you to learn that these two teams have only met on a handful of occasions. Not only that but they currently sit neck-and-neck in terms of winning percentages. They last faced off against each other over a decade ago in 2007, with Barcelona walking away with the 1-0 victory. Earlier that year, Liverpool managed an equally hard-fought 2-1 Champions League win. In all honesty, history is just affirming what we already know. And that’s the fact that these two are very evenly-matched. This is likely to be an extremely tough game for each, no matter who wins.
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Players to watch: Lionel Messi & Mo Salah
Barcelona: Lionel Messi
The Barca legend has made the depths of his desire to win the Champions League well known and will be giving everything he possibly can to help take his team to the finals. Messi is a difference maker every time he steps onto the pitch and with this level of motivation, he will prove close to impossible to stop. To many people, he is the greatest player in the world today. To Liverpool, he’s their worst nightmare.
Liverpool: Mo Salah
However, Liverpool have a game changer of their own and his name is Mo Salah. He’s a man whose dual goals against Huddersfield has provided a new club record of 69 goals out of a hundred appearances. In terms of consistency, Salah is on another level to all but the best of the best. And Liverpool will need that kind of reliability to deal with the fire of Barcelona.