7pm: What do we make of those teams then? Klopp’s hand has been forced with Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Naby Keita sidelined.

It has to be said their bench is looking threadbare, although promising young striker Rhian Brewster is named on the bench – will he get a shot?

Barcelona, meanwhile, are unchanged and looking strong as ever. Ernesto Valverde rested all 11 starters on the weekend as Barca lost 2-0 to Celta Vigo.


Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Milner, Henderson; Mane, Shaqiri, Origi.

Subs – Mignolet, Wijnaldum, Lovren, Gomez, Sturridge, Brewster, Woodburn.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Busquets, Rakitic; Messi, Suarez, Coutinho.

Subs – Cillessen, Semedo, Arthur, Malcom, Umtiti, Vermaelen, Aleñá.

6.40pm: There should be fireworks tonight – but there literally some fireworks going off next to the Barcelona team hotel last night, in hope of disrupting the players’ sleep. Not particularly welcoming from the Liverpudlians, it’s fair to say… And Merseyside Police aren’t having any of it.

“We can confirm a report was received of fireworks being set off at Chavasse Park in Liverpool city centre shortly after 4am today (Tuesday 7 May 2019),” a statement read.

“It is against the law to carry or use adult fireworks if you are under 18, and illegal for people of any age to let off or throw a firework in a public place.”

Shouldn’t bother Messi, mind, because science has not yet proved if that biological anomaly does in fact sleeps.

6.35pm: Fighting talk from Jurgen Klopp in tonight’s matchday programme.

“Here is one thing everyone inside Anfield knows, including our opponents. This Liverpool never stops. This Liverpool never quits. This Liverpool gives everything at all times.

“Whatever happens this Liverpool leaves it all on the pitch and nothing left for regrets. We don’t do ‘if only’.”

6.30pm: Feeling a bit parched in the stats department? Don’t worry, here’s a jugful of Opta’s finest.

  • Barcelona have won both of their previous two turnouts at Anfield in the Champions League – in 2001 and 2007
  • Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 19 home matches
  • Liverpool have not conceded in the competition since Kylian Mbappe’s strike for PSG on matchday one
  • Barcelona have won just five of their last 18 away Champions League knockout ties, but four of those five victories have come in England
  • Lionel Messi has 12 Champions League goals for Barcelona this season, just two shy of his best ever tally in a single season

6.15pm: Virgil van Dijk has been absolutely key to Liverpool’s improvement this season but there have been murmurs the Dutchman is not fully fit for tonight’s game after he was not seen training with the first team yesterday.

He has, in fact, been struggling with a slight foot problem over the last few weeks, which led to his absence from the training session, according to a club spokesperson.

They suggested Van Dijk only missed Monday’s open training because he was instead undergoing an individual, tailored session to aid his fitness so that he could still start tonight.

It is believed the same can be said of returning midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

6pm: Luis Suarez is returning to Anfield tonight for the first time since leaving Liverpool in 2014.

He celebrated upon opening the scoring in the first leg, but has vowed not to do the same at Anfield. Why? I’ll leave it to the man himself…

“I have all the respect in the world for the Liverpool fans,” the Uruguayan said. “Because I scored and celebrated with my fans I say sorry.

“I am very thankful to Liverpool to the fans and the club and obviously it is clear that if I score a goal against Liverpool here I won’t celebrate it in the same way I didn’t celebrate in Holland when I scored. 

“I am thankful to the club, I think there will be more applause than whistles.”


5.30pm: Welcome, young and all, to tonight’s live coverage of the Champions League semi-final second leg between Liverpool and Barcelona. It’ll be a cracker.

In Barcelona, we have a side who will be on the brink of their third treble should they get through tonight, and in hosts Liverpool, a side who will truly state their claim of being the best English team to not win a trophy if they go out respectfully this evening.

Yeah, kick-off is not for another two-and-a-half-hours, but that’s only because of the glorious build-up coming your way, including Virgil Van Dijk’s fitness, Luis Suarez’s return and the all-important team news. Stay tuned.

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