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Barcelona, 01-05-19, CL Semi final (A)

In my opinion the Lge is gone now, spurs and manu were our only hope of city dropping points i feel, fairplay to burnley they tried and so nearly got a draw but it wasn't to be, ah well, we still have the CL to go for.

We can beat barca over two legs, their not the barca of old, they have messi on fire right now but keep him quiet and we can beat barca no worries. Firmino looks like a doubt so i won't put him in so it looks like Origi could get his place, certainly not sturridge who looks like he's already at his next club, totally spent at LFC and has been for years. 

                                                                     Alisson

                                                       Arnold    Matip   VVD   Robbo

                                                          Hendo   Fabinho   Keita

                                                            Salah    Origi    Mane

That's just about the best team we can put out right now in my opinion. I'll state the obvious, an away goal or two would be fantastic and i think we'll get them, of course shutting them out is the important bit and with the like of suarez, coutinho and messi in their ranks it won't be easy but we can do this, it's messi i'm most worried about, nullify the supply to him and their weakened big time, easier said than done i know. Best of luck RedMen.

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                  • I wasn't worried when Keita was replaced by Henderson but I hadn't reckoned on how that would affect the tactical plan. After the change Gomez seemed to be playing like an orthodox right back. Not surprisingly he ran out of legs after 75 minutes and I would have rather Klopp had brought on Trent than Origi. We can all debate what would have happened if this or that had been done differently but in the end it was fine margins that decided the outcome.
                    • I think it was the fact that not many people saw some of Klopp's decisions coming that made them noteworthy, I certainly wouldn't have predicted Wijnaldum at number nine for all the tea in China. Like I said, I'm sure Klopp had perfectly valid reasoning for what he did and I don't think the result undermines that in any way. I completely agree that it would've only needed us to have got the rub of the green in a couple of instances and the result could've been much more favourable, it's a shame the scoreline line doesn't really show that.
  • I think the scoreline flatters Barcelona a bit, the game wasn't as one-sided as it suggests. As always with teams like Barcelona, they may only have a handful of chances but great players convert them at that's just what they did. We created a number of chances too but didn't take advantage of them and that's fatal at this stage of the Champions League.

    I can understand why Klopp went with the defence and midfield he chose, I can't for the life of me understand why he went for Wijnaldum in the front-middle of a 4-3-3. I'd have understood more if he'd gone with a diamond (which is what he'd used in the previous two matches) and had Wijnaldum at the tip behind Mane and Salah. Admittedly, the system seemed to work until Keita went off injured but then Wijnaldum seemed to disappear a bit, as he sometimes does away from home. I thought Matip and Robertson played really well, Van Dilk (surprisingly) didn't have his best game picking up Suarez and Messi (unsurprisingly, perhaps) and MIlner and Gomez faded rather in the second half (understandably).

    Turning over a 3-0 deficit at Anfield will be a tall order but I don't think it's impossible. What will be much harder is keeping a clean sheet, as was proven by the third goal which was basically unsaveable. However, we faced this task at Istanbul so you never know...
  • Ah well, there's always next season.
  • I would go for a Fabinho, Henderson, Wijnaldum midfield. I read an article (in This is Anfield) which gave four possible line-ups if Firmino isn't fit including the diamond, Keita on the front left, Origi front left and one involving Shaqiri on the front right which I think has no chance of being implemented. I'm no tactician so it's hard to predict but the Keita option seems a possibility. Hopefully none of them will be needed and Firmino will be fit.
    • I've just read Firmino trained this morning so that's a good sign he'll be alright for the match and none of these variations will be needed.
  • Wijnaldum and Milner have had some time on the bench lately so I wouldn't be surprised if Klopp goes for his big game midfield of Wijnaldum, Henderson and Milner. It would actually make more sense than usual to do that because dominating the midfield will probably be the best way of neutralising Messi, once he's past the midfield and in the final third it could be too late to stop him. Trent and Robertson have got 24 assists between them this season so Klopp knows he has outlets in the fullbacks if the midfield is more focused on controlling the opposition. Klopp has also been using a diamond formation on and off recently so I wonder whether he has that in mind for this game at some point. If Firmino doesn't play he may choose to have Mane and Salah as more of an attacking pair with Sturridge or Keita slightly deeper between them as a number ten at the tip of the diamond. Until we know the situation with Firmino it's difficult to anticipate what Klopp has in mind.
  • Still hoping Leicester can pull something off but anyway back to the blog post, I also believe we can beat Barca over 2,legs. There’s no parking buses and crap like Bayern playing defensively it should be a helluva game. Brace yourselves I think.
    • Praying Leicester can help us out mate, it's our last hope but can't see it happening. Should be two cracking games with barca, can't wait.
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