WWN Sport previews this mouthwatering semi-final between Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side and *checks Wikipedia* Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona.
Incredibly, both sides are unbeaten in all competitions since January and possess some of the most talented and dedicated footballers in the world playing at the apex of their sport; meaning a loss for either side will see them labeled as disgraceful overpaid frauds who don’t deserve to wear the shirt by loyal and passionate fans.
If Messi scores tonight it will be his 675th goal of his career and could finally prove he’s not just a 15-season wonder.
The game marks the first time Mo Salah faces a Spanish side since his shoulder was assassinated by Sergio Ramos in last year’s final.
A win over two legs could see Liverpool appear in the final for a second year in a row, which isn’t bad for a club that once thought spending £35 million on Andy Carroll was a good idea.
Jurgen Kloop caused a stir after old remarks about the Camp Nou being ‘a rancid shithole you couldn’t pay me to set foot in’ resurfaced.
Liverpool team news: Roberto Firmino is an injury doubt ahead of the game but a last minute scale and polish could see him in the starting line up for Liverpool.
Barcelona team news: In a huge boost to Liverpool’s chances Barcelona haven’t perfected the art of cloning and so will only start with one Messi on the pitch.
Barcelona non-team news: A lovely city by all accounts, ideal for a weekend city break but just keep an eye out for pickpockets.
Stats:Luis Suarez has never bitten someone when playing against a former club. The question though still lingers – will he celebrate if he does?
Key man: Liverpool kitman Graham Carter. Sure, we could have said Lionel Messi like everyone else, but Graham, in his post since 1999, is a top man for keeping the spirits up and cracking a joke and in a game of such small margins, maybe it’s the friends you make along the way that will prove to be the real difference tonight.
Tactics: Taking inspiration from fans already making their presence felt in Barcelona, Liverpool could trying throwing some Barcelona players into a nearby fountain.
Putting pressure on Busquets and limiting the supply of passes to Messi could also be a viable option. For Barcelona, if Messi is isolated they will be left relying on overweight bargain bin league Sunday footballers such as Dembele, Coutinho, Suarez, Rakitic and Alba to make a difference.
Predictions: No matter what happens we predict there will a large minority of moany pricks who can’t bring themselves to enjoy a match between two of the best sides in the world without complaining and swearing at a player for a misplaced pass.