Liverpool need a miracle at Anfield on Tuesday night if they are to overturn a three-goal deficit in their Champions League semi-final clash with Barcelona.
<p><span style="color:inherit;font-family:inherit;font-size:1.2em;font-weight:700;">First Leg Recap</span></p><p>Barcelona secured a commanding lead in this tie when they romped to a 3-0 victory against Liverpool at the Nou Camp. Liverpool looked menacing in the opening stages thanks to the pace of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, but they could not find a breakthrough. Former Reds striker Luis Suarez latched onto Jordi Alba’s through ball and put Barca 1-0 up in the first half, and then spent the rest of the game terrorising his former employers with his cynical antics.</p><p>Liverpool played well after the break and enjoyed plenty of possession, but they remained profligate in front of goal. Jurgen Klopp’s men looked as though they would emerge with only a narrow defeat, but they fell victim to a late sucker punch from Lionel Messi. The world’s greatest player displayed opportunism to follow up for a tap in after Suarez hit the bar, and then he fired in a sensational 35-yard free-kick to hand his team a comprehensive victory. Klopp declared that his team had delivered their finest away performance in the Champions League for two years, but they were wasteful in front of goal and they now have a mountain to climb.</p><p> </p><p></p><h2>Team News</h2><p></p><p>Liverpool will once again be without Brazilian striker Roberto Firmino, who was only fit enough for a place on the bench in the opening leg. He will miss Tuesday’s game entirely and that is a huge blow for the Reds, as he is the glue that holds their attack together. Klopp deployed Giorginio Wijnaldum as a false nine against Barcelona last week and he may be tempted to do so again, but there is a strong case to start either Divock Origi or Daniel Sturridge up top and really go for it. Salah suffered a head injury against Newcastle on Friday night, but Klopp expects him to recover in time for this game.</p><p>Suarez has been nursing a bruised ankle, but he should recover in time to return to Anfield, where he is sure to receive a hostile reception. Ousmane Dembele has a hamstring injury and another former Liverpool player, Philippe Coutinho, should continue his run in the Barcelona team. They have already wrapped up the league title in Spain and could afford to rest all their players at the weekend, whereas Liverpool remain locked in a furious battle with Man City to win the Premier League and they played a tense game against Newcastle on Friday, so Messi and co should be fresher for this clash.</p><p> </p><p></p><h2>Betting Tips</h2><p></p><p>Barcelona led a three-goal lead slip when they were eliminated from this competition by Roma last year and they will be wary of suffering a similar fate at Anfield. They can ill afford to sit back and soak up pressure in the second leg, as that would put them at risk of slumping to another heavy defeat. They have dangerous forwards in Messi and Suarez and they should fancy their chances of breaching the Liverpool defence. Despite the absence of Firmino, Liverpool should still enjoy greater fortunes in front of goal in this game and both teams to score and over 2.5 goals looks like a good option at 11/10 (2.10) with <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=b4150791-892f-469b-9b6a-7dfc6df0fb07&f=1" target="_blank" title="Ladbrokes">Ladbrokes</a>. A Liverpool victory is also tempting at 23/20 (2.15) with <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&a=acd6b93a-905e-45af-90ef-7eb1df661829&f=1" target="_blank" title="Coral">Coral</a> as a narrow defeat would suit Barcelona.</p>