FC Barcelona were the last team not named Real Madrid to win the Champions League back in 2015, and Barca are the odds-on favorites to win this year’s Champions League. The Blaugrana are in great shape to advance to the final in Madrid in late May after a 3-0 win over Liverpool FC in the first leg of their semifinal tie, and only a disaster in the return leg would keep them from advancing. They will be sure not to take advancing for granted after wasting a 4-1 win over AS Roma in last year’s Champions League quarterfinals by losing the return leg 3-0 and crashing out of the competition.
Don’t miss the second leg of the Champions League Semifinal from Anfield in Liverpool, England at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Catch every moment of the match live on TNT and Univision
Champions League Semifinals Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Liverpool FC -102
FC Barcelona +248
Over/Under 3 and 3.5
The first leg between these two teams was pretty evenly played for much of the match, and a 3-0 result for Barcelona is not indicative of what we saw. Liverpool had some incredible opportunities to score, but they just couldn’t find the back of the net no matter who was taking the shots. James Milner missed two golden opportunities, and Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino also failed to convert great chances.
The hosts were not wasteful of their opportunities, much to the delight of the fans at Camp Nou. Barcelona did not have the majority of possession, but they capitalized on most of their real chances. Jordi Alba picked out Luis Suarez on a run for Barca’s first goal, and then Lionel Messi took over late. Messi tallied a brace in the final 15 minutes, notching his 600th career goal for Barcelona in the process. He set-up his first goal by cleaning up Luis Suarez’s miss off the post, and then he showed why he is an all-time great with his second goal. Messi struck a lovely free kick that curved expertly into the top left corner of the net, leaving Alisson helpless to stop it.
Liverpool will not have Naby Keita available for this match after Keita came off with a groin injury 21 minutes into the first leg. His pace will be missed as he created some danger for Barcelona defenders. Adam Lallana is listed as doubtful.
Rafinha is the only player that is certain to miss the match for Barcelona, but the club has been without the midfielder since late 2018.
Matchup to Watch
The Reds certainly had their opportunities to score against Barcelona the first time around. The Blaugrana back line had trouble with Liverpool’s pace throughout the match, and it’s a wonder Liverpool couldn’t find a goal. Outside backs Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba were outmaneuvered a little too often, and Clement Lenglet looked shaky throughout.
Jurgen Klopp made the surprise decision to start Georginio Wijnaldum ahead of Firmino in the first leg, and that seems unlikely to happen again. The Reds immediately created an opportunity after Firmino came on, so he should get the start here with Liverpool needing to net at least three goals to advance.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
This is going to be fun. Barcelona aren’t solid enough in defense to just hold the line and hope for the best, and Liverpool will ratchet up the pressure to try to get an early goal. This is going to be an up and down game with plenty of chances, so I’ll take the over. The Reds will make a game of it, but a Barcelona road goal will make their task nearly impossible.
Champions League Prediction: Liverpool FC 3, FC Barcelona 1
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