While Spurs v Ajax is a breath of fresh air in the Champions League semi-finals, Liverpool’s trip to Barcelona feels like a good old-fashioned ding-dong between two members of European royalty.
As usual, all eyes will be on Lionel Messi. Barcelona’s talisman has now scored 32 times against English opposition in his career (although never against Liverpool in his two matches against them), and Jurgen Klopp’s primary focus will be on stopping the Argentine wizard, who is having a wonderful season, even by his own lofty standards.
This said, Liverpool certainly pose a threat of their own. Barca’s possession-centric style of play won’t bother Klopp, who will be more than happy to let the hosts enjoy the ball while looking to hit then on the counter with the blistering pace at his disposal – a little like the Liverpool team of last year, but with a better defence.
Liverpool have had mixed fortunes on the road in Europe this season: three straight defeats against Napoli, Red Star and PSG saw them just about squeeze through their group, but later victories against Bayern and Porto shows Liverpool very much have their Champions League mojo back.
As far as the result goes, I’m expecting a draw. Liverpool just look unbeatable these days, and while I don’t expect them to keep a clean sheet, I simply can’t see that side not scoring.
+270 looks a fair price for a stalemate between two very evenly-matched outfits.
1u - Draw (3-Way Moneyline) @+270
Next, I’m backing Roberto Firmino to score at any time.
The Brazilian has netted in Liverpool’s last two Champions League matches, and while Mo Salah and Sadio Mane have claimed most of the goalscoring headlines, Firmino has still bagged four times this European campaign.
Liverpool have scored 14 goals in their last five away games, and I’m backing them to add to this tally, courtesy of Bobby.
1u - Roberto Firmino [Anytime Goalscorer] @+320
By Ryan Elliott