Football Predictions

Liverpool vs Barcelona preview, predictions & expected XIs

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 13:25, 6 May 2019

Liverpool have it all to do if they are to reach a consecutive European Cup final at the expense of fellow five-time winners Barcelona.

Jurgen Klopp’s men were the victims of another Lionel Messi masterclass in Spain last week and returned home with a 3-0 defeat.

Since their Camp Nou meeting both sides endured contrasting performances in their respective leagues. Barcelona, who have successfully secured the La Liga title, saw a second string team lose 2-0 at Celta Vigo whilst Liverpool, chasing a first championship since 1990, narrowly escaped St. James’ Park with a 3-2 victory.

Read on for Liverpool v Barcelona TV channel info, stats, predicted XIs and team news.

When is Liverpool v Barcelona?

Competition: Champions League

Venue: Anfield

Date: Tuesday, May 7

Kick-off: 8:00 PM BST

Where can I watch live?

UK viewers can watch the game on BT Sport 2, channel 414 on Sky and channel 528 for Virgin Media users. BT Sport subscribers can also watch the game online at sport.bt.com and via their BT Sport app.

Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.

Head-to-head

This will be the 10th meeting between these European giants, who share 28 major titles. As things stand the spoils are shared with each winning three games.

However, in the four previous games at Anfield, the Reds have mustered just one victory – a 1-0 win in their 2001 UEFA Cup semi-final second leg meeting – with Barça leaving Merseyside with two victories, both happening to come in their last two trips.

Liverpool wins: 3 Draws: 3 Barcelona wins: 3

Match preview

Liverpool are staring at the brink of their Champions League journey coming to an end. Klopp’s men had their moments at the Camp Nou but were unable to capitalise on those opportunities and were made to pay by Messi.

His seven-minute brace in the final half hour, which included a virtuoso free-kick, followed an earlier Luis Suarez effort to hand Ernesto Valverde’s men a commanding 3-0 lead heading into the game at Anfield.

The Reds, with their backs against the wall, will be hoping their famed home atmosphere can once again serve as the 12th man and create yet another legendary European performance.

As for Barça they are on course to claim yet another treble. Before meeting Liverpool last week the Catalan giants had successfully retained their La Liga crown and there’s also a Copa del Rey final with Valencia on the horizon.

Will Salah be fit for Barcelona – and beyond?

Sadly, no. Liverpool must do without the availability of their number 11 who bagged his 22nd Premier League goal this season in their narrow 3-2 win away to Newcastle United.

However, with less than 20 minutes remaining of that game, the ‘Egyptian king’ was stretched off after colliding with Magpies goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka.

The 26-year-old forward underwent tests to determine if he suffered concussion and he’s been deemed not ready to play with all eyes on how Klopp’s attack will line up. It’s likely two of Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge will start.

But going back to Salah, even if he’s not reached the superb heights of last season, he remains a threat and one not to be underestimated. What many saw as the impossible job has become even more tricky with his absence taken into account.

Could we see another remontada?

This season’s Champions League has been the gift that keeps on giving. We’ve seen everything from shock runs, stunning goals and outstanding comebacks.

The round of 16 was full of them: Ajax, Juventus and Manchester United overturned first leg deficits against Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain respectively.

What should interest Klopp and company was the performance of Juve – of the clubs mentioned their loss came on the road – but also Barça’s recent history. Last season in the quarter-finals they famously swept AS Roma (with Alisson in the Italian goal) aside 4-1 at the Camp Nou before falling to an incredible 3-0 defeat in the Eternal City.

A year before in the round of 16 they suffered a 4-0 defeat the hands of PSG before completing a stunning 6-1 remontada (or comeback) at home. If anyone has shown Liverpool what’s possible it’s their opponents on Tuesday evening.

Team News

Roberto Firmino, Salah and Naby Keïta have all been ruled out, while Adam Lallana also misses out for Liverpool. Barça must do without Ousmane Dembélé, who suffered a hamstring injury over the weekend, and Rafinha.

How everyone thinks Liverpool and Barcelona will line up

1. TAA in, Origi too

Early team news suggested Salah would make it but Klopp on the eve of battle confirmed what Liverpool supporters dreaded. Attention now turns to how the German tactician will shape his team. He’s nominally gone with a front three, before opting for a diamond in Spain, and we could see that here again.

Someone who didn’t take to the Camp Nou pitch was Liverpool’s marauding right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, it was suggested his lack of defensive discipline compared to Joe Gomez when facing Barça’s irresistible attack could become problematic.

But with the Reds having nothing to lose, there’s a chance Klopp could throw everything at their Catalan visitors, and that means a place for Alexander-Arnold whose crossing has been a staple of Liverpool’s campaign.

Elsewhere, there’s an expected place for recent matchwinner Divock Origi, whose very late goal kept Liverpool’s hopes of ending a 29-year championship wait alive, if he does start then it will be his second time in the Champions League this season.

UEFA.com‘s predicted Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson; Salah, Mané, Origi.

2. Shaq attack, Gomez remains

He’s somewhat become the forgotten man at Anfield but there could be a key role for Xherdan Shaqiri on Tuesday evening.

He’s played a total of 42 minutes across Liverpool’s last four Premier League outings, but importantly provided the assist for Origi’s winner at Newcastle, a reminder what he can bring to the table.

His presence means Klopp could retain a front three with Sadio Mane on the flank and either Origi or Sturridge through the middle.

As buccaneering as his instincts may be, Klopp might retain a degree of caution, hence the possibility of another start for Gomez at right-back.

Evening Standard‘s predicted Liverpool XI (4-3-3): Alisson; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Milner; Shaqiri, Salah, Mane.

3. Enter Semedo

None of the Barcelona players that started against Liverpool in the first leg faced Celta Vigo over the weekend. Despite their 2-0 defeat, Valverde’s team wrapped up the league a week earlier, they bounce into Anfield with one foot already in the June 1 final.

There shouldn’t be too many surprises in Barça’s lineup, but two areas that could see changes is at right-back and in midfield. Arthur, who many expected to feature against the Reds, was an unused substitute though played 61 minutes against Celta.

He’s expected to be named on the bench again with Ivan Rakitić, Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal retaining their spots. However, there’s a chance with Dembele out and Philippe Coutinho not firing on all cylinders that Valverde could play a midfield diamond with Suarez and Messi in tandem up front.

That means Sergi Roberto drafted into the middle of the park with Nelson Semedo slotting in at right-back.

UEFA.com‘s predicted Barcelona XI (4-4-2): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Roberto, Rakitić, Busquets, Vidal; Suárez, Messi.