Preview – Barcelona vs. Liverpool

Barcelona vs. Liverpool
Barcelona vs. Liverpool

Following a slightly underwhelming showing in London last night, the Champions League returns this evening with a monumental clash between last year’s finalists and the newly-crowned champions of Spain.

Having seen their London rivals, Tottenham, fall to a 1-0 defeat to Ajax Amsterdam yesterday, Jurgen Klopp’s Reds look to fly the flag for England as they travel to Catalonia to take on 2019’s La Liga Champions, Barcelona. Having enjoyed victories over the likes of PSG, Napoli and Bayern Munich earlier in the competition, Liverpool have proven a force to be reckoned with – but will the ghosts of their past, namely front-men Phillipe Coutinho and Luis Suarez, come back to haunt them in Camp Nou?

Barcelona have been in equally fine form as of late, having lapped up their second La Liga title on the bounce last weekend and so will be paying this Champions League tie their full-attention – a daunting prospect for Jurgen Klopp and his men who are still in an excruciating tight Premier League title race. With no major injury concerns – barring Brazilian midfielder Rafinha, who tore his cruciate ligament in November – Messi and co. will be confident they can put in a performance worthy of the occasion tonight.

Speaking of injury concerns, Jurgen Klopp and his staff, having sweated over the availability of Brazilian duo Fabinho and Firmino this week, will breathe a huge sigh of relief as both players have been cleared by club doctors to take part in the fight against their Catalan rivals. With long-term absentees Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both making cameos off the bench during Liverpool’s 5-0 demolition of Huddersfield Town on the weekend, things seem to be looking up for the Reds. However, the away-trip comes too early for midfielder Adam Lallana who is set to stay on Merseyside with a muscle injury.

In any case, the stage is set for a clash between two titans of the footballing world. Who will emerge victorious in Spain?

Barcelona vs. Liverpool – Wednesday 8:00pm on BT Sport 2.