Barcelona face Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday night hoping to finish the job and advance to the Champions League final.
The Catalan giants boast a 3-0 lead after the first leg of their semi-final tie at the Nou Camp last week, with goals coming from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.
In turn, they’ll be confident of their chances of progressing past Jurgen Klopp’s men, but will be fully aware that the Premier League outfit have produced many memorable European nights over the years and pose a threat of making a comeback.
With that in mind, it’s no surprise that coach Ernesto Valverde has gone with a strong starting line-up for the trip to Merseyside, with his stalwarts all returning after he rotated at the weekend for the defeat to Celta Vigo.
Messi has bagged a staggering 48 goals and 22 assists in 46 appearances so far this season, and unsurprisingly he’ll be the main threat for the hosts as Barcelona search for an away goal to effectively kill the tie.
They were dealt a blow at the weekend with Ousmane Dembele picking up a hamstring injury which rules him out of this encounter, leaving Suarez, Messi and Philippe Coutinho to lead the charge again after starting in the first meeting.
It’s as strong an XI as possible from Valverde, and as noted in the reaction from supporters below, it’s gone down well with them as they hope Barcelona are able to secure a positive result to edge a step closer to a possible treble this season.
However, the absence of Nelson Semedo raised eyebrows, with the defensive ace’s pace arguably a key factor in keeping Liverpool quiet in this one. Instead, Valverde has opted to go with Sergi Roberto in that department and it remains to be seen if it’s an important decision that pays off.
?? Força Barça!
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 7, 2019
— Messiroccuzzo95 (@messiroccuzzo95) May 7, 2019
— Embass (@800embasodon) May 7, 2019
— Jad Hawa (@JadHawa) May 7, 2019
— ??????. (@b2009_s) May 7, 2019
So why keep Semedo on the bench again? If we loose and fail to qualify, blame Valverde ?
— Tim Tetteh (@timmytetteh) May 7, 2019
Think we’d need Semedo on tbh but we’ll see
— Rich Maxted (@RichMaxted) May 7, 2019
— Bianca~??? (@bianca12_92) May 7, 2019
Where’s Semedo !!!!!
— Faisal . (@x_LiveYourLife) May 7, 2019
— Samed Sar?kaya (@justmesmd) May 7, 2019