Champions League

PREVIEW: Liverpool v Barcelona

Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)
Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Liverpool face a seemingly impossible task as they look to overturn a three-goal deficit against Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final tie on Tuesday night.

The chances of the Reds reaching the final of Europe's premier club competition for the second-successive year seem slim after they lost last week's first leg at the Nou Camp 3-0.

Lionel Messi was the star of the show that night, grabbing a brace that included a sublime free-kick that brought up his 600th goal for the club and that all came after former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez had opened the scoring during the first-half.

If Liverpool's task wasn't already hard enough, the news that they will be without forwards Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino for Tuesday's match will come as a further blow.

Salah sustained a head injury during the Reds' hard-fought 3-2 victory over Newcastle in the Premier League on Saturday, while Firmino remains sidelined with the muscle issue that limited him to a substitute appearance during last week's first-leg.

Midfielder Naby Keita has also been ruled out with an adductor injury, which leaves the resources at Jurgen Klopp's disposal looking a little stretched.

Tiredness could also be a factor for Liverpool, who were pushed all the way by Newcastle on Saturday, while they also have their pivotal final match of the Premier League season against Wolves to come on Sunday.

Barcelona have faced no such worries, as they wrapped up the La Liga title last month and coach Ernesto Valverde even had the luxury of being able to rotate his entire starting XI for Saturday's 2-0 loss at Celta Vigo.

Ousmane Dembele did pick up a hamstring injury in that match and will miss Tuesday's contest as a result, but that should not be too much of a concern for Barca, who still boast the firepower of Messi, Suarez and another former Liverpool player in Philippe Coutinho.

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