Barcelona v Liverpool Combined XI: Do you agree with our picks?
We can’t wait to see who comes out on top when Barcelona and Liverpool meet at Camp Nou in Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final.
Bear in mind that both sides set-up in a 4-3-3 formation, and we’ve had to make some tough choices in our Barcelona-Liverpool combined XI.
GK – Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Alisson bested ter Stegen in last season’s CL quarter-final between Roma and Barca. But it’s the German keeper who remains arguably the best in Europe after another stellar season in Catalonia.
LB – Andrew Robertson
It’s impossible to underestimate just how much Liverpool rely on Robertson. The Scot remains vital at the back and integral going forward; contributing 13 assists. He just gets in ahead of Jordi Alba.
CB – Gerard Pique
Forget the Rock of Gibraltar. Pique is the Rock of Barcelona. The 33-year-old has been unflappable at the heart of the backline since retiring from Spain duty despite his ageing years.
CB – Virgil van Dijk
£75m seems like chump change for Van Dijk, who was named PFA Player of the Year at the weekend. He’s single-handedly transformed Liverpool’s defence. Just imagine where the Reds would be without him.
RB – Trent Alexander-Arnold
Given the partnership between Robertson and Alexander-Arnold on either side it’s impossible to leave the latter out. TAA has contributed 11 assists in all comps this term – no mean feat for a 20-year-old still learning the game.
CM – Sergio Busquets
Every good side needs someone to do the dirty work. There aren’t many better in the world at it than Busquets. The 30-year-old is always one step ahead and is probably one of – if not the best – defensive midfielders around.
CM – Ivan Rakitic
It’s difficult to knock Rakitic over the last 12 months. The creative star has been as consistent as ever for Barca and also helped guide Croatia to their first World Cup Final last summer.
CM – Fabinho
We need to have one Liverpool midfielder in here. And it’s Fabinho who gets the nod. The Brazilian has hit the ground running at Anfield and isn’t wholly incomparable to Busquets. He can do it all – and in style.
ST – Lionel Messi
We did toy with sticking Divock Origi in here, but Messi just about got the nod. The mini magician has been as brilliant as ever this season, hitting 46 goals in 45 matches for Barcelona.
ST – Luis Suarez
Suarez’s record in the Champions League isn’t much to write home about. But he’s integral to the way Barca play. Take him out of the team and Messi would suffer. His 24 goals and 12 assists this term aren’t bad either.
ST – Mohamed Salah
We could’ve flipped a coin between Sadio Mane and Salah. But in the end it’s the latter who gets the nod. The Egyptian is a much more fluid talent than the direct Senegalese ace, while he also has a habit of scoring goals at key times.
Salah has secured 24 points for the Reds through scoring first and netting winning goals or equalisers. That’s some record.
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication