Two European heavyweights go toe-to-toe in the Champions League semi-final tie as Barcelona and Liverpool battle it out for a place at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
After struggling to go past the quarterfinals for three successive campaigns, the Catalan giants have booked a ticket for the Champions League top four after beating Olympique Lyonnais and Manchester United in the previous two knockout stage rounds.
On the other hand, the Reds have an opportunity to break into their second straight Champions League final after outclassing Bayern Munich and Porto in the last two rounds.
Led by one of the greatest football players ever, Lionel Messi, the Catalans have hammered Manchester United in the quarter-finals, dumping them out of the competition 4-0 on aggregate.
This Champions League campaign’s leading goalscorer has already netted ten goals, with two of them coming in the return leg of their quarter-final tie with the Red Devils.
The Argentinean has also registered more attempts on target than any other player in Europe’s top-tier competition (20), and it’s hard to see Barcelona scoring against Liverpool without Messi’s name on the scorecard.
Well aware of Messi’s capability in front of goal, Bet365 put him at 61/100 (1.61) to find the net in the first game of this two-legged tie and also offer 13/5 (3.60) on the 31-year-old to draw first blood.
Messi’s partner in crime, Luis Suarez, is given 19/20 (1.95) chances of beating Alisson Becker although the Uruguayan striker has so far surprisingly failed to open his goalscoring account in the Champions League this campaign.
Meanwhile, Liverpool also have their own talisman, as Mohamed Salah seems to be rediscovering his ‘killer instinct’ in the final third. After drawing a blank in six consecutive Premier League games, the Egyptian superstar has bagged three goals in four of his previous top-flight outings for the Reds.
A potential worry for Jurgen Klopp could be that pacey left-footed forward managed just four goals in ten Champions League appearances this term, with only one coming in four knockout stage clashes.
Nonetheless, former AS Roma man is priced at 81/50 (2.62) to hurt Barcelona at Camp Nou, with his fellow offensive colleagues Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane both put at 13/5 (3.60) to place the ball behind Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s back.
Considering both sides have devastating firepower on their books, goals should not be in short supply in this fixture. Probably because of the fact the Blaugrana have notched 2+ match goals in four of five Champions League home clashes, Bet365 put them at 61/100 (1.61) to score over 1.5 match goals here. Liverpool will hardly abandon their attacking-minded football, which is why 61/100 (1.61) for both teams to score seems like a reasonable bet. For those who are looking to try their luck with online betting but are yet to gobble much-needed experience, bet 10 get 30 offers could be the right opportunity to save some money but still enjoy playing. Notably improved in the final third over the past few weeks, the Merseysiders have gone from six straight away games in which they’ve scored one goal or less to five consecutive meetings in which they’ve bagged at least two. Therefore, 7/4 (2.75) on Liverpool to score two or more in Catalonia could be attractive for the brave ones.
The reigning La Liga holders will be eager to settle the score with the Premier League title fighters following the Champions League elimination back in 2007. It was the last time these two sides have gone head-to-head in the most prestigious European competition, and the Reds have managed to advance to the quarter-finals thanks to the away goal rule after the two-legged tie ended 2-2.
Things have changed drastically ever since, with Barcelona claiming two Champions League titles in last 12 years while Liverpool lost last season’s final to Real Madrid (their only CL final since 2007’s defeat to AC Milan).
This massive showdown will also have a special meaning for two of Liverpool former stars, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho, who proudly now wear Barca’s jersey.
Commenting on the prospect of meeting former mainstays face-to-face, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has said that it will be special for all participants.
“For them [Coutinho and Suarez], for these two boys, it’s very special. For us, it’s special. They are both Liverpool legends, that’s brilliant,” the German tactician said.
“But I think it will not be a friendly game so we have to fight, we have to work – they will do it as well.”