Argentine striker, Lionel Messi and his team are getting ready to face the Reds in the Champions League semi-final at Camp Nou tonight in the awaited match between Barcelona and Liverpool.
One of the awaited meetings, which raises a host of questions, especially for Klopp whether he should go all-in in Barcelona or may it be better to save some effort to Newcastle, whether he faces a selection dilemma, whether the next seven days would serve his legacy, whether his selections and squad management would lead him to win the final game after 72 hours in Newcastle. None of these questions should be underestimated.
Ahead of tonight’s semi-final first leg, Liverpool players and coach were put before a tough challenge after Messi’s statements that he dreams and works on getting a fifth European Cup to his collection, along the line as his rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Klopp stated that his players must suffer and “fight like crazy” to destroy Lionel Messi’s Champions League dream as Liverpool kick off a defining 12 days chasing European and Premier League glory.
“Messi said before the start of the season that they wanted to bring back this cup. That sounded already like a threat to me,” said Klopp.
Definitely, it’s not all about Messi, Barcelona is one of the highest teams with other 10 world-class players who can determine the game. There are also concerns about the performance level in the league game that can be badly affected due to an away trip in a Champions League semi-final. Like Manchester United that lost four of its seven league games after an away day European semi-final. Liverpool, specifically was beaten 1-0 at Chelsea during the last season after a long trip back from their second leg with Roma.
On the other hand, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde never underestimated Liverpool, saying: “They have a great pressing style, they play at a very fast pace and they have a magnificent attack. They are a very difficult team to beat and the fact they have only lost once in the Premier League says a lot about them.”