Both remaining fixtures promise a treat for lovers of the beautiful game. However, most would agree this is game of the round. Barcelona – new favourites for the crown following Man City’s exit – look to live up to expectations and reach the final with a win over a confident Liverpool who are fighting to add European dominance to a rare Premier League success. Here are our top Barcelona v Liverpool betting tips.
Barcelona v Liverpool – Leg One
Jurgen Klopp’s men were beaten finalists last year; however, Barca will be going all out to ensure their rivals’ adventure ends here. Barcelona have dominated La Liga while Real Madrid have been making hay in this competition. However, fans have grown restless and think it’s only right their club regain their rightful place at the top of UEFA’S rankings. A La Liga title – already in the bag – and a Champions League winner’s medal would see them achieve that.
Barcelona knocked Manchester United out in the last round and they had little trouble doing so either. They ended Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s slim hopes of adding glory in this format as a manager to the success he enjoyed during his playing career. Barca left Old Trafford with a valuable 1-0 away win and although the match was still there to be won heading to Spain, they tied up the loose ends with a seriously impressive 3-0 home cheer over The Red Devils.
Messi scored the first of his two goals on 16 minutes before finishing the tie with 20 on the clock. Coutinho wrapped things up midway through the second-half. A home win for Barcelona over another English opponent is favourite in the betting, best priced 3/4 with Unibet.
Reds Must Keep it Tight
Liverpool have the disadvantage of going to the Camp Nou for the first leg. No matter how good they have been in previous outings this season, that alone is a big ask for any club at any level of football. Manchester United new what they were in for and, similar to Liverpool will do, they tried to keep things tight at the back and punish any mistakes on the break.
That’s a shrewd approach; however, Barcelona are accustomed to having to break teams down and in Messi they have a man who can win matches on his own. He put United to the sword with two quick goals, ending their chances. Yes, Liverpool are a better team than United, but are they good enough to stop Messi? That’ll be key to any success they have over the two legs.
Liverpool dealt with Porto in the last round, easing through to the semis thanks to a 6-1 aggregate score. Arguably the weakest opponent left in the line-up at that stage; however, it takes nothing away from The Reds who flexed their muscles to win 4-1 away from home, stamping their authority all over the fixture. Mane, Salah, Firmino and van Dijk all grabbed goal bonuses, proving the club are a threat in every department.
Salah Can Change Things
There’s an argument to say Klopp doesn’t have the quality on his bench to win matches; however, when fielding his strongest side, there’s not many who can match them. They have improved on the squad that finished with a runner’s up medal 12 months ago.
Similar to Messi for Barcelona, Salah has the ability to turn a game on its head if given the right kind of service. He possesses the cool head needed to score important goals and he showed recently he can also strike them from distance if given the space by opposition defenders.
A Liverpool win is 18/5 – best price at Ladbrokes, with a draw marked as a more likely outcome at 3/1 with Bet365. Both teams to score will grab you a shot at 8/13 and William Hill are the go-to firm for that one, standing as the most generous bookmaker.