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Champions League: Barcelona-Liverpool Combined XI

ANALYST
Feature
1.91K   //    30 Apr 2019, 05:01 IST

Mohamed Salah and Lionel Messi
Mohamed Salah and Lionel Messi

Last year's finalist, Liverpool, are set to lock horns against the Spanish giants, Barcelona, in the semi-finals of the Champions League this week. The first leg of the tie will be played at the Camp Nou on May 2 and the Merseysiders will later host the LaLiga giants at Anfield for the return leg on May 8.

Barcelona already clinched their eight LaLiga title in 11 years after defeating Levante 1-0 at the Camp Nou last week and will now be looking forward to lifting their first Champions League trophy since 2015.

On the other hand, Liverpool are chasing their first league title since 1990 and are just one point behind the league leaders, Manchester City. The Reds reached the finals of Europe's elite competition last season but failed to lift the trophy after losing 3-1 against Real Madrid.

Ahead of the all-important clash between two of Europe's most successful teams, let's look at the combined XI of the Barcelona and Liverpool players in a 4-4-2 formation.


Goalkeeper

Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Marc-Andre ter Stegen

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen: Arguably the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is enjoying yet another stellar season with the Blaugrana. The 26-year-old German made 85 saves thus far in the league this season and helped his team keep 16 clean sheets.


Defenders

Virgil van Dijk will be up against Lionel Messi
Virgil van Dijk will be up against Lionel Messi

Trent Alexander-Arnold: The young English defender played an integral role in Liverpool's success this campaign and has been included in the PFA Team of the Season for his impressive performances. The 20-year-old assisted nine goals for his teammates in the league, while also earning applauds for his defensive maturity.

Gerard Pique: The Spanish international started the season poorly but he regained his form as the campaign progressed. The 32-year-old won 39 tackles in the league this season, along with making 34 interceptions and completing 141 clearances. He has also been impressive with his distribution and completed 91.6% of his passes.

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Virgil van Dijk: The architect of the Liverpool's stability at the back this season, Virgil van Dijk has been awarded the PFA Player of the Season accolade for exploits this campaign. The Dutch captain completed 2548 passes in the Premier League this season with an impressive passing accuracy of 89.5 %. He also made 183 clearances and won 71 percent of his tackles.

Andrew Robertson: One of the best left-backs in the world at the moment, Andrew Robertson impressed one and all with his performances for Liverpool this campaign. The Scottish international assisted 11 goals for his teammates this season, which is the most among the defenders playing in the English top division.

Along with his attacking contributions, Robertson also impressed with his defensive displays and won 63% of the tackles.


Midfielders/Wingers

Mohamed Salah is the top goalscorer in the Premier League
Mohamed Salah is the top goalscorer in the Premier League

Ivan Rakitic: Despite speculations regarding his future at the Camp Nou, Rakitic remains to be an important part of the Barcelona's squad and he played a vital role in the Blaugrana's success this season.

The 31-year-old midfielder completed 2161 passes with an impressive passing success rate of 91.8 percent. He also contributed three goals and four assists to the team.

Fabinho: The Brazillian international has established himself as an essential member of the Reds' squad after a slow start at the club. The 25-year-old acts as a destroyer in the Reds' midfield and won 56% of his tackles. He also impressed with his positioning and passing, with 85.2 percent of his passes found his teammates this season.

Mohamed Salah: Mohamed Salah is enjoying another remarkable season with the Reds and is currently leading the race for the Premier League Golden Shoe. The Egyptian also played a crucial role in the Merseysiders' Champions League run and scored four goals in the process.

Sadio Mane: The Senegalese international remained under the limelight of Mohamed Salah last season and his contributions to the team often remained unnoticed. However, he took the center stage for the Reds this season and has been in a great goalscoring form this campaign.

The 27-year-old registered 20 goals and one assist in 34 appearances in the league this campaign, which booked his place in the PFA Team of the Season.


Strikers

Lionel Messi will be looking forward to winning his sixth Ballon d'Or
Lionel Messi will be looking forward to winning his sixth Ballon d'Or

Lionel Messi: The Argentine is scoring goals for fun this season and is currently leading the race for the European Golden Shoe. The 31-year-old has registered 34 goals and 13 assists in the 32 league games thus far this campaign and has played a huge role in defending Blaugrana's LaLiga crown.

Luis Suarez: The Uruguayan international will be playing his first competitive game against Liverpool since leaving them for the Blaugrana in 2014. The 32-year-old striker has scored 21 goals in the league so far this season, which puts him behind Lionel Messi as the LaLiga's top goalscorer.

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