Liverpool vs Barcelona: team news and confirmed line-ups
All the latest from both camps as Liverpool attempt to overturn a 3-0 deficit against Barcelona in Anfield, kick-off at 21:00 CEST.
Liverpool face an uphill struggle to overturn a three-goal deficit from the opening leg in Camp Nou last week but the fight is far from done and Jürgen Klopp has promised his side will go out swinging and if they do fail, they will “fail in the most beautiful way.”
Follow minute by minute live action from Anfield: Liverpool - Barcelona.
That suggests the German will reach for the Rammstein and lay on some of his heavy metal football with an all-out assault in the opening exchanges, something Ernesto Valverde will have primed his team to deflect given Liverpool’s penchant for delivering knock-out blows in games such as this.
Last season in Europe the Reds knocked seven past Spartak Moscow and Maribor in the group stage, five past Porto in last 16, three past Manchester City in the quarter-finals and hot Roma for five in the semis. They have done this before and host a Barça side who shipped three in Rome last year and the same number in Turin in 2016-17 - both at the quarter-final stage: a dramatic home turnaround at Anfield would hardly be a once-every-generation occurrence.
If anything, Barça’s guard will have to remain up against their own complacency as much as whatever Klopp throws at them in the opening 30 minutes, although an away goal will pretty much seal the deal for the Liga champions and they do have a certain Argentinean in their midst plus a fully rested and full-strength squad, which is hardly the case for Liverpool who will find reinforcements in short supply when Klopp turns to his bench on Tuesday.
Liverpool team vs Barcelona (confirmed)
Starting XI: Alisson; Matip, Robertson, Van Dijk, Milner, Alexander-Arnold; Fabinho, Henderson; Mané, Origi, Shaqiri.
Barcelona team vs Liverpool (confirmed)
Starting XI: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho; Suárez, Messi.
Liverpool vs Barcelona: injuries and suspensions
The home side will have to contend without both Mo Salah (concussion) and Roberto Firmino (muscle injury) with Naby Keita also out until the end of the season.
That will leave Klopp to place his faith in Divock Origi, who came off the bench to rescue the day against Newcastle last weekend, and Xherdan Shaqiri, a player who is capable of the sublime and can give Jordi Alba a torrid time while also keeping the marauding Barça full-back and main line of supply to Messi and Suárez pinned back.
Georginio Wijnaldum is likely to drop back into his more conservative midfield role after Klopp played him as a false nine in Camp Nou with Jordan Henderson and Fabinho making up the midfield three.
Virgil van Dijk is expected to start despite missing past of Liverpool’s training session on Monday.
Valverde, meanwhile, will field his strongest XI with only Ousmane Dembélé. Who would have probably been on the bench, and long-term absentee Rafinha missing. The Barcelona boss was able to rest Leo Messi, Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Jordi Alba, Gerard Piqué and Marc-André ter Stegen at the weekend.
Liverpool vs Barcelona: what the managers said
Jürgen Klopp: "Our fans are smart – so are Barça supporters. The situation is the situation. They have a lead and we need to strike back. But both clubs being smart also means everyone knows we are not finished and we are Liverpool. So: let’s play and let’s see. Here is one thing everyone inside Anfield knows, including our opponents. This Liverpool never stops. This Liverpool never quits. This Liverpool gives everything at all times. Whatever happens this Liverpool leaves it all on the pitch and nothing left for regrets. We don’t do ‘if only’.”
Ernesto Valverde: “We'll play the game without taking the first leg into account, we want to win here, it will be a difficult match, the fans can affect a lot at Anfield. Liverpool are very good and they have lost just one match in the Premier League. The same way we won, they can win."
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