Football News

Liverpool tipped to reach UCL final after “bad day” for Barcelona

By William Eldridge

Published: 17:09, 1 May 2019

Former Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Mitchell Langerak believes either Tottenham Hotspur or Liverpool will win the Champions League this season.

Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur lost 1-0 to Dutch destroyers Ajax on Tuesday night while fellow English side Liverpool hope to get past La Liga champions Barcelona on Wednesday.

Who will win the Champions League? Five things you need to know…

  1. Tottenham Hotspur lost their semi-final first leg 1-0 at home to Ajax, giving themselves a lot to do in the second leg.
  2. Fellow English side Liverpool face La Liga champions Barcelona in their semi-final first leg on Wednesday night.
  3. Led by Lionel Messi, Barcelona are the favourites to reach the final and win the competition for the sixth time.
  4. But former Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Mitchell Langarak predicts a final between Liverpool and Tottenham.
  5. The final takes place on 1st June at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

Liverpool are torn between domestic glory and attempting to get to their second successive European final, with recently crowned La Liga champions Barcelona the side standing in their way.

For Spurs, they will have to perform admirably on Dutch soil against the side who have already shocked with victories against both Real Madrid and Juventus getting them to this stage of the competition.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the latest round of Champions League fixtures, Langerak couldn’t hide his admiration for the two Premier League representatives in the final four.

The Australia international believes that the overall winner of the Champions League is likely to be from England.

He said: “It’s difficult, I think my guess is like anybody else’s guess, but I think Liverpool has a very good chance, as they are in good form at the moment, but they need to catch Barcelona on their bad day.

“For anybody to beat Barcelona you need to catch them on their bad day.

“And Tottenham–Ajax, it’s also very difficult. Ajax is a fantastic young team, they are doing very well, scored most goals in Europe so far this season.

“So I think it’s difficult, but Tottenham also have good quality players. So, I’m guessing, maybe Tottenham and Liverpool.”

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Goalkeeping greats competing in final four

All goalkeepers will need to be on top form in order for their respective side to claim this season’s Champions League trophy for themselves. Langerak believes the standard of goalkeeping from this season’s semi-finalists is fantastic, listing the qualities each first-choice shot-stopper has.

Barcelona’s Marc-André ter Stegen is the only goalkeeper praised by Langerak, with the German having previously won the Champions League in 2014/15.

However, Premier League stars Allison and Hugo Lloris have impressed, with the Reds ‘keeper achieving the most clean sheets in the Premier League this season (20).

Spurs’ main man has averaged three key saves per match in the Champions League this campaign. In the opposite goal, Ajax man Andre Onana has shown his durability, playing every minute of the club’s 17 Champions League games this season, conceding just 14 goals.

Langerak said of the goalkeepers: “Ter Stegen is crazy the way he can make some saves. He plays fantastic with his feet, and when he plays at Barcelona this is how they need to play.

“Alisson also, at Liverpool, is somebody who makes unbelievable saves and is very strong for the team. I think so far in the Premier League they have 19 or 20 clean sheets, so he’s been unbelievable.

“For me, I also like Hugo Lloris, he is a fantastic goalkeeper who makes amazing saves and he is somebody who I like to watch a lot.

“And he has had a fantastic career, he is an amazing goalkeeper.

“[Onana] also fantastic, he fits in very well into the way [Ajax] play.

“So four very good goalkeepers, and it’ll be very exciting to see who comes out at the top at the end.”