Champions League: 3 Factors that suggest Barcelona will hurt Liverpool in Second Leg
All the attention will shift to the Anfield on Tuesday night as Barcelona travel to Liverpool for the second leg of their Champions League semifinal.
Even though the scoreline reads 3-0 in favour of Barcelona, many believe Liverpool are still in the fight and can make a comeback in the crucial second leg.
After all, Liverpool created enough opportunities in the first leg but they fluffed their chances to score that elusive away goal. They should also consider themselves lucky as Barcelona could have increased their tally further had Ousmane Dembele converted his chance towards the end of the first leg.
Without Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino for the second leg, it's a mountain to climb for the Liverpool side looking to overturn the deficit and qualify for the final. And with Lionel Messi leading the charge for Barca, you can't bet against them, can you?
With the stage set for the big game, here are 3 factors that suggest Barcelona will pile the misery on Liverpool in the second leg:
#3 Messi's record against English teams
Some question his ability to perform during a cold rainy night at Stoke but his record against the Premier League teams in the UCL say otherwise. Surprisingly, only Sergio Aguero and Eden Hazard have scored more goals than Messi against the top six sides in England since 2010/11. And this isn't a bad record for a player who has never played in the Premier League.
Liverpool need to be wary of the threat posed by the Argentinian. To overcome a 3-0 deficit, they will certainly leave a lot of space for Messi to exploit and it only needs a moment of magic from the great man to finish the tie off.
Messi has never scored at Anfield and he would want to break this record as soon as possible.
Being the captain for Barcelona has also added responsibility on Messi's shoulders and he has shown this season how great a captain he can be and silenced all those who questioned his leadership qualities.
Even in the first leg against Liverpool he was seen motivating his players before the kick-off and instructing them what they needed to do during the game.
Messi looks in impeccable form, having scored 12 times in just 9 UCL games this season. The trophy that he and the team really want is the UCL and they will be highly motivated to qualify for the final.