Barcelona are set to meet their toughest test in the Champions League this season when they face Liverpool at the Camp Nou in the first leg of their semi-final tie tonight. It is worth remembering that the Catalan giants had to play against tough teams such as Tottenham Hotspur, Inter Milan, Lyon and Manchester United in the Champions League this season.
However, Liverpool seem to be on a different level and are capable of doing sufficient damage to knock Barcelona out of the competition. Barcelona might be slight favorites as they will play at home, but the Spanish champions need to be very cautious against the Reds.
The tie could be decided on away goals as Liverpool are as scary going forward. Hence, a clean sheet and a win is needed for Barcelona in the first leg before their daunting trip to Anfield next week. Here we will rank the five players who could do the job for the Catalan giants.
The veteran Spanish defender has been able to regain his reputation after series of shaky performances at the beginning of the season. He has recorded an impressive six clean sheets in his latest seven games for Barcelona and was an integral part behind their La Liga trimph.
Barcelona will give him the task to guard Liverpool's attacking trio of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino (if available) cautiously. However, one would expect Barcelona to go all-out and bombard Liverpool's defense at the Camp Nou. Hence, Pique have to mainly worry about the Reds' deadly counter-atttacks.
He should not make misplaced passes or other clumsy errors at the back and should also be a threat in dead-ball situations. He has everything necessary to get the job done as his passing accuracy stands at a high 91.2 percent in all competitions, and his goalscoring record is also excellent for a centre-back.