Despite Messi’s brilliance in their first leg clash the scoreline didn’t do Liverpool much justice in terms of their performance. The only approach at Anfield on Tuesday night in their Champions League semi-final second leg will be to go out and attack in the hope of overturning the 3-0 deficit. Form Labs breaks down the action with their betting preview and tips for the game while as ever we have plenty of value waiting for you in our FanBoosts section.
Scoreline Didn’t Do Liverpool Justice
Liverpool’s failure to register an away goal has left the second leg feeling somewhat anticlimactic. However, while Barcelona hold a comfortable 3-0 advantage, the scoreline didn’t quite reflect the balance of play and Jurgen Klopp’s outfit won’t be holding back at Anfield.
The Reds have tasted defeat just once in 24 outings there this term, against Chelsea in the League Cup back in September, while since the October international break they’ve won 16 of 18 unbeaten games and kept 11 clean sheets.
They’ll need another shutout here or they’ll have to bag a minimum of five goals, but although they’ve kept the likes of Man City, Napoli, Bayern and Chelsea (league) at bay over the course of the season, they’ve also conceded in their other most challenging games versus PSG, Chelsea (cup), United, Arsenal and Spurs.
Of those nine games, only the 5-1 win over Arsenal would be enough to send them through here, let alone take it to extra-time, though the Gunners have been terrible on the road and Barcelona are a different kettle of fish.
Jason McAteer And Darren Bent Preview Liverpool v Barcelona
Barcelona’s Away Record
Having said that, the Catalans possess an immense record at home in the Champions League, winning 29 of 32 unbeaten outings at the Camp Nou, but while Liverpool have it all to do, Ernesto Valverde’s side can be susceptible on their travels.
In the knockout rounds alone, Barcelona are just W1-D2-L3 since 2016/17, going down 4-0 to PSG before an epic comeback at the Camp Nou, as well as 3-0 defeats away at Juve and Roma.
Liverpool would bite your hand off for any of those outcomes, though a win by those margins is a tough ask nonetheless.
History Of Sides Losing Away Leg
However, teams that have lost away in the first leg of a Champions League knockout match by an exact three-goal margin have typically rallied to win in the return leg back at home.
Since 1997/98, they’ve won 12 of 15 such games, though only Deportivo versus Milan in 2003/04 and Roma last year against Barcelona overturned the deficits to make it through to the next stage.
Crucially, both those sides had an away goal to call upon, as fewer than half of those 15 second legs saw the visitors draw a blank.
With Leo Messi enjoying one of his best campaigns to date, it’s hard to see the hosts enjoying a clean sheet.
Salah and Firmino Ruled Out
Whereas Liverpool have been involved in one of the most exciting title races in Premier League history, it’s been business as usual for the Catalans as they wrapped up an eighth La Liga title in 11 years prior to the first leg.
That has enabled them to rest Messi and others in domestic action, as they did between their two fixtures with Man Utd in the previous round, and wholesale changes are expected when they visit struggling Celta Vigo on Saturday.
However, Liverpool have three ruled out, Naby Keita who had to come off after 24 minutes in Barcelona, Roberto Firmino who missed the first leg due to a muscled injury and more worryingly Mo Salah who will miss the second leg tie after suffering a head injury during their league clash with Newcastle, not the sort of news Jurgen Klopp would have wanted to hear from the doctors on Monday morning.
Liverpool v Barcelona Betting Tips
Liverpool have lost four of six matches on their travels in Europe this term, but they’ve won four from five at Anfield and including last season, they’ve won nine of 12 unbeaten fixtures on home turf (including a play-off win over Hoffenheim).
They managed a 3-0 win hosting Man City in the knockout rounds last term, so although their chances are slim, they’re not non-existent either.
However, we certainly won’t be backing them to progress to the final, but they can at least set about making the aggregate scoreline a closer affair.
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