Barcelona v Liverpool: Who gets into our combined XI?
Who’ll make the difference in the Champions League semi-final?
We’re in for a mouth-watering Champions League semi-final when Liverpool travel to Barcelona on Wednesday evening.
There’ll be plenty of quality on show at Camp Nou, but who gets into our combined Barcelona and Liverpool XI?
With both sides boasting star-studded attacks, we’ve gone for a 4-2-3-1 system to pack as much quality as possible in, rather the 4-3-3 the two teams usually employ.
There isn’t much to choose between Alisson and Barcelona’s Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Both are sensational shot-stoppers with superb distribution skills.
But Alisson has arguably made a bigger difference between the posts for Liverpool than Ter Stegen has for the Catalan club. The Brazil number one is arguably Liverpool’s first reliable goalkeeper since Pepe Reina.
Right-back: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Alexander-Arnold’s fellow Premier League players voted him into the Team of the Year and we’ve given him the nod over Nelson Semedo and Sergi Roberto. He’s chipped in with nine assists this term and will only improve in the years ahead.
Centre-back: Gerard Pique and Virgil van Dijk
It’s an easy choice here. Pique and Van Dijk are both leaders at the back who can cope with whatever is thrown their way. They can play a bit too. Van Dijk has a strong claim to being the best defender in the world right now.
Left-back: Jordi Alba
This is a much tougher call. Jordi Alba just squeezes in ahead of Andy Robertson, having been one of Europe’s best left-backs for almost a decade now.
Central midfield: Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets
We’ve gone for a midfield duo, with Sergio Busquets dictating play and Ivan Rakitic the man for all occasions. Whether you’re on the front foot or trying to keep things tight, the Croatian can get the job done.
Right wing: Mohamed Salah
Salah may not have hit the heights of last season, but he’s still the Premier League’s top scorer with 21 goals. He’s 5/4 to retain the Golden Boot at the end of the campaign.
Attacking midfield: Lionel Messi
Of course he’s in. Messi may start on the right for Barca, but we needed to find room for Salah, and the Argentine tends to have a free role anyway.
Left wing: Sadio Mane
Mane has 24 goals in all competitions, which means he’s in ahead of Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho.
Striker: Luis Suarez
Roberto Firmino works just as hard as Suarez, but the Uruguayan is the better goalscorer. The former Liverpool ace has 24 goals this season and recently became Barcelona’s fifth-highest scorer of all time.
View the latest Barcelona v Liverpool odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing