Liverpool host Barcelona on Tuesday facing what looks an almost impossible task to qualify for the final of the Champions League.
The Reds performed with credit in last week’s first leg in Spain, but goals by Lionel Messi (2) and Luis Suarez have given them a mountain to climb at Anfield.
Liverpool head into the game on the back of a 3-2 victory at Newcastle United on Saturday that ensured the Premier League title race will go down to the wire.
Barca were beaten 2-0 at Celta Vigo, although manager Ernesto Valverde rested most of his top stars with the La Liga crown already in the bag.
Liverpool are slight favourites with bookmakers to win the second leg, but it will take an almighty effort to force their way back into the tie.
Their hopes of progressing to the final have not been helped by the news that influential forward Mohamed Salah will miss the game.
Salah suffered a concussion during an accidental clash with goalkeeper Martin Dubravka at St James’ Park over the weekend and cannot be considered for selection against Barcelona.
Roberto Firmino will also miss the second leg with a muscle problem, while Naby Keita and Adam Lallana both remain on the sidelines.
Virgil van Dijk and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were absent from training on Monday, but should be fit to join the matchday squad.
Barca are almost at full strength, with only Ousmane Dembele and Rafinha ruled out of the game with injuries.
Liverpool’s lack of an away goal is a major problem, particularly with Barca scoring in four of their five Champions League games on the road this term.
They have lost just one of their last ten matches away from home in this competition and it’s difficult to imagine them not testing Liverpool’s backline at some point on Tuesday.
Liverpool will take heart from their recent home record in the Champions League, having racked up a 13-game unbeaten run since their last defeat at Anfield back in 2014.
The Reds haven’t conceded a goal in their last four European games on home soil and keeping another clean sheet will be imperative to their chances against Barca.
Liverpool have recovered from impossible situations before, but overcoming this Barcelona team to reach the final would probably be their most impressive achievement.
Predicted starting line-ups:
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Henderson, Milner, Wijnaldum, Mane, Origi.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba, Busquets, Rakitic, Vidal, Messi, Suarez, Coutinho.
Liverpool vs Barcelona Betting Tips
Liverpool will need to score at least three goals to reach the final. Bet on over three goals in the match with MustardBet at odds of 11/10.
Barca won 1-0 on their last visit to Anfield back in 2007. A repeat of that scoreline can be backed at 11/1.
A 3-0 home win in 90 minutes would take the game to extra-time. Back that scoreline at odds of 25/1 at MustardBet.