Football News

Robertson has no special preparation planned for Messi duel

By William Eldridge

Published: 15:35, 29 April 2019

Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson has insisted he has no “special preparation” planned before coming up against Barcelona legend Lionel Messi.

The two sides meet this week in the Champions League semi-final first leg to take place at the Nou Camp.

Can Liverpool stop Messi? Five things you need to know…

  1. Liverpool take a break from Premier League proceedings to face Barcelona this Wednesday night.
  2. The Reds are still competing on two fronts, chasing down the Premier League title with rivals Manchester City.
  3. Barcelona have already claimed La Liga for their own and hope to complete a treble of title wins before the season is out.
  4. Lionel Messi has once again been a huge part of their successes this season and will be looking for a fifth Champions League title.
  5. But Andrew Robertson has admitted is not training any different in preparation to face Messi.

Coming up against a player of Messi’s stature is no easy task but talented left-back Robertson has spoken to reporters about how he is preparing for what is bound to be a testing evening.

The Scottish international has insisted that he has nothing extra planned in an attempt to contain the world-class forward.

Robertson said: “I don’t think you have to prepare any differently from any other game.

“Of course, you’re playing against a better player than you usually would  like I said, he’s the best player in the world. You can maybe watch clips, although I don’t know if that would help!

“But I think we all need to be prepared because he drifts all over the pitch.

“You watch him, and sometimes he’s back in the centre-half spot, picking up the ball from deep, so he’ll start on the right but I’m prepared for him not to stay out there.

“I know he’ll be running at us at times, and it’s all about how we defend it.”

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“Unbelievably hard”

Robertson and his Liverpool teammates know facing a team like Barcelona means they are in for a tough night’s work.

Undoubtedly, Messi is the focal point of the side but the La Liga champions boast an array of talent that will make any defence shudder, with the likes of former Reds Luis Suarez and Philipe Coutinho ready to strike at a moments notice.

Robertson has acknowledged the size of the task ahead of the Merseysiders if they are to make back-to-back Champions League finals.

He continued: “I think it will be unbelievably hard. They have an unbelievable front three and attacking threat, and of course they’ve got the best player in the world, in my opinion, and that never helps us!

“We need to be on our game defensively, but we believe that we can cause them problems as well. We believe we’ve got an amazing front three and also people that can cause problems from deeper, and if we can do that then hopefully we can cause them problems and do enough to get to the final.

“Semi-finals are exciting prospects but they’re also tense and very emotional, so it’s all about controlling that and hopefully getting the better of them. We know how hard it’s going to be, but we’re full of confidence that we can get the results we need to try to get to the final.”

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