Tuesday 7 May: 8pm KO
Live on BT Sport
It’s one of the biggest weeks in the history of Liverpool FC. The next few days could be ones of amazing triumphs or disappointing failures. Before trying to win the Premier League, they host Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final second leg. They trail 3-0 from the first leg but could we be about to see the most sensational Anfield night ever or just another Messi masterclass?
There one piece of news that Liverpool fans didn’t want to hear after Saturday’s dramatic win at Newcastle United. Mo Salah was taken of with a head injury in that game and he’ll miss this second leg, as will Robero Firmino. There are odds of 11/1 (12.0) at Betfair that the Reds can qualify. The price on them going on to win the Champions League is out to 20/1 (21.0) if placing the bet with Betfred. Those odds might tumble if there’s an early goal on Tuesday.
Mo used to play for AS Roma and his former club can be used as an inspiration for his new team. Last season they went to Barcelona and lost 4-1 but won the second-leg 3-0 to knock the Spaniards out of the Champions League. Liverpool don’t have an away goal but they do have an incredible crowd that will cheer them every step of the way. The trouble is their opponents have Lionel Messi! William Hill will give you odds of 11/10 (2.1) on Liverpool winning this match in 90 minutes.
Liverpool are unbeaten at home in their last 19 games since a Carabao Cup defeat by Chelsea. Of those games, 16 have been won with only ten goals conceded. Their record in the Champions League has seen them go 13 without defeat since being beaten by Real Madrid in 2014. Liverpool have kept four straight clean sheets this season and boy do they need another one on Tuesday. It’s 18/5 (4.6) at BetVictor on them beating Barcelona to nil.
Their last three home Champions League games have only seen them score three goals. They have to double that total if they want to at least force extra time in this game. The odds on a 3-0 Liverpool victory are 20/1 (21.0) at Ladbrokes. There’s no Roberto Firmino for this match which is a big blow for Liverpool and this is the night when Salah and Mane have to be on top goalscoring form.
Barcelona are only 4/9 (1.44) at Coral to win the Champions League this season, something they haven’t been able to do so since 2015. Their players will be well rested for this match with the Spanish champions playing a virtual reserve side in the 2-0 defeat at Celta Vigo on Saturday. Liverpool couldn’t of done that and it will be another advantage for Barcelona, especially as Liverpool’s game wasn’t until the evening.
Scoring a goal will be Barcelona’s key target on Tuesday evening. Just one successful strike will mean no prospect of extra-time and Liverpool needing to score five times in 90 minutes. William Hill’s odds on Barcelona scoring in this match are 2/7 (1.28) and it’s 43/20 (3.15) they win the match.
Barcelona have scored 12 goals in their last four Champions League games. Exactly half of those have been scored by Lionel Messi. He’s only scored in three of those games but at present, if he does get on the score sheet, panic because another is on the way. Can Messi score two in a game again? The odds on the Argentinian doing that at Anfield are 11/2 (6.5) at Paddy Power.
The La Liga Champions have conceded at least three goals in an away Champions League match three times in their last 12 matches. However, Barcelona have kept clean sheets in their last two away Champions League matches. Not the kind of stat a Liverpool fan needs to read when 3-0 down from the away leg. The odds on a Barcelona clean sheet at Anfield are 4/1 (5.0) at Bet365.
Liverpool will be without Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah. Barcelona have no injury worries.
Liverpool have only won one of their four previous home games against Barcelona. Three of those previous games had under 2.5 goals scored in them, which would be no use at all to Liverpool on Tuesday. The odds on under 2.5 goals being scored on Tuesday are 7/5 (2.4) at Unibet.
Liverpool have it all to do and dare not concede a goal. That’s difficult when up against Messi. though he is yet to score an away goal in the knock-out stages this season. Liverpool will need to press forward, especially if an early goal doesn’t materialise or Barcelona score. A bet on over 2.5 goals in this game has odds of 4/7 (1.57) with BoyleSports.