The UEFA Champions League continues with the first leg of the semifinals, and a derby clash between Barcelona and Liverpool will take place at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Barcelona is a runaway favorite to win the Champions League this season with the odds at +150, while Liverpool is right behind at +250 odds, so we expect to see a thrilling battle.
Barcelona vs. Liverpool
Three-way: 1: Barcelona -115; X: +290 Draw; 2: Liverpool +330
Spread -0.5: Barcelona -115; Liverpool +100
Total 3 Goals: Over +115; Under -130
Both Teams to Score: Yes -164; No +120
Barca retained the Spanish La Liga title, clinching the top spot with a 1-0 victory to Levante this past Saturday. Lionel Messi scored the only goal for the hosts who recorded their fourth straight victory in all competitions, allowing just one goal in that span. Also, it was Barcelona’s seventh consecutive win at home. Barca eliminated Lyon 5-1 on aggregate in the Champions League Round of 16, while they defeated Manchester United 4-0 on aggregate in the quarterfinals. Barcelona won four of its five home games in the Champions League this season along with a 1-1 draw with Tottenham in the group stage.
Lionel Messi is leading the way for Barcelona with 46 goals and 22 assists in 45 appearances in all competitions. Messi scored ten goals along with three assists in his eight Champions League outings this season. Luis Suarez bagged 24 goals along with 12 assists in 47 apps in all competitions, while Ousmane Dembele added 14 goals and nine dishes. The manager Ernesto Valverde cannot count on midfielder Rafinha (knee), but all other players are ready to go.
- Barcelona won seven straight games at home
- Both teams scored in two of the last nine games overall
- Six of the last nine games overall had fewer than three goals in the total
The Reds are still battling for the English Premier League title, sitting at the second spot of the table just one point behind Manchester City. They are on a ten-game winning streak following a 5-0 thrashing off Huddersfield on Friday, while the Reds are undefeated in their previous 19 games in all competitions. Liverpool eliminated Bayern Munich 3-1 on aggregate in the Champions League Round of 16, beating the German side 3-1 in the second leg in Munich, while the Reds outlasted Porto 6-1 on aggregate in the quarterfinals. They won five straight games on the road, recording a clean sheet just once in the process.
Mohamed Salah is leading the way for the Reds with 25 goals and 13 assists in 48 appearances in all competitions. Sadio Mane scored 24 goals in 45 outings, while Roberto Firmino completes a great attacking trio, bagging 16 goals along with eight dishes in 46 showings. The captain James Milner has seven goals and seven assists this season, while full-backs Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold combined for 24 assists in all competitions. The manager Jurgen Klopp can field his best eleven, as all his players are ready to go.
- Liverpool won ten games in a row
- Both teams scored in four of the last five contests on the road
- Seven of the last ten games overall had three or more goals in the total
This game will be a joy to watch, as Barcelona love to hold the ball and build its attacks through possession, while Liverpool enjoys playing through counter-attacks. Also, both teams are playing in a great form at the moment, especially the Reds who are on a ten-game winning streak. On the other side, Barcelona won seven straight contests at Camp Nou, so I just cannot separate these two foes and will take a draw.
When it comes to the totals, it’s a tricky wager. Both teams play solid defense and considering this is the first leg of the matchup, we could easily see a cautious approach on both sides that could lead to a low-scoring affair. On the other hand, with all attacking potential on both sides, it’s hard to say we’ll see just two or fewer goals. I think we’ll see a goal on each side, but the odds on both teams to find the net are not so attractive at -164 odds. I’m backing a draw, looking for a 1-1 or 2-2 final score, so I’ll take both teams to score along with three or more goals in the total. With Lionel Messi, Mohamed Salah, and all other guys at the field, I cannot wager on the under.
The Pick: Draw (+290)
Additional Pick: Both Teams to Score YES & Over 2.5 Goals (-105)