3 reasons why Liverpool can upset Barcelona in the Champions League

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Liverpool have been drawn against Spanish giants Barcelona in the semifinals of the Champions League.

The first leg takes place at Camp Nou on the 1st of May and the return leg is at Anfield on the 7th.

Both teams have had an impressive season so far and they will be hoping to go all the way in Europe now.

Liverpool stands second in the Premier League title race right now and Barcelona are close to winning La Liga as well. It will be interesting to see which team manages to book their place in the finals after the two-legged tie.

The Reds managed to reach the finals of the competition last year as well but they were beaten by Real Madrid.

Meanwhile, Barcelona have not won the Champions League since the 2014/15 season and they will be desperate for European glory this season.

Here are three reasons why we believe that Liverpool have what it takes to pull off an upset in this tie.

Team Balance

Barcelona have superstars like Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique at their disposal. However, the Reds are a much more balanced unit.

Although, Lionel Messi has never quite managed to score against Liverpool despite his good record against the other English teams.

Source: Fox Sports

They have fewer weaknesses as compared to the Catalan giants.

Barcelona’s full-back positions need improving as the likes of Alba and Roberto aren’t as good defensively.

Source: Marca

They are very efficient going forward but against the likes of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, Barcelona might face some defensive issues.

Also, their wide players are not very good at covering the full backs and that leaves them exposed during counter attacks.

The likes of Dembele and Coutinho prefer to stay further up the pitch and that means less defensive cover for Barcelona’s full backs during counters.

Liverpool have a bunch of very hardworking players who complement each other well.

The likes of Alexander-Arnold and Robertson have been the best full back duo in the Premier League all season. Furthermore, they are well protected by the likes of Salah and Mane. Both wingers tend to drop deep and help out the defense whenever they can.

In the midfield, Barcelona have more quality with Busquets and Rakitic but they are lacking in energy. Both players 30 years old or above and they might struggle to cope with the intensity of Liverpool’s fitness and aggression.

The likes of Keita, Wijnaldum, Fabinho and Henderson are tireless midfielders who will press Barcelona into mistakes.

Source: Fox Sports

Home/away advantage

Liverpool play the first leg away from home and that has always been an advantage for teams in the knockout rounds of the competition.

For example, from 2000-01 to 2007-08, teams playing the second leg at home fared better, winning 11 of 16 semifinal ties.

Even in the earlier rounds of the competition, the team which has played the first leg away from home seems to have had a favourable result.

Source: UEFA

If Reds manage to get a decent result at Camp Nou, they will fancy their chances against any team at Anfield.

Anfield has been a fortress under Jurgen Klopp this season and they are yet to lose a single game there.

Also, the Reds have a great head-to-head record against the Catalan giants.

Liverpool will look to contain Barcelona away from home and then hit them hard at Anfield. They certainly have the ability to do so.

Klopp’s men have the best defensive record in the league. They have conceded the least number of goals in the Premier League this season and they have the most number of clean sheets as well.

The likes of Alisson, Van Dijk and Matip are capable of keeping the Barcelona attack in check at Camp Nou.

Source: The Telegraph

Tactical Nous

Jurgen Klopp is a tactically astute manager and he has proven it time and again in Europe.

The German has never lost a knockout round tie with Liverpool.

Source: Punditarena

The Reds have beaten the likes of Manchester United, Dortmund, Villarreal, Hoffenheim, Porto, Manchester City, Roma and Bayern Munich in the knockout rounds under Klopp.

The Liverpool manager comes across as a great planner when it comes to two-legged ties and one would expect him to guide Liverpool to a victory here as well.

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