Barcelona vs. Liverpool Champions League Semifinal Betting Preview: Can the Reds Get a Result?
Getty Images. Pictured: Liverpool players celebrating
- Barcelona and Liverpool will meet in the first leg of the Champions League semifinals on Wednesday, May 1st at 3 p.m. at Nou Camp in Barcelona, Spain.
- Leo Messi and company just sealed another La Liga title this past weekend (7th in 10 years) and will look to bring that momentum into their crucial encounter against the Reds.
Barcelona vs. Liverpool: Champions League History
Liverpool have never lost away at Barcelona in four meetings all-time and they’ve been very successful once they reach a Champions League semifinal.
The Reds have advanced to this stage ten times and have lifted in the trophy in five of eight finals, the most recent coming in 2005.
Barca have also won the Champions League Final five times in eight finals, with four of those trophies coming since 2006.
Barcelona vs. Liverpool: How They Got Here
Liverpool lost three games in the group stage but still managed to advance and then rolled through Bayern Munich (Round of 16) and FC Porto (quarterfinal).
The Reds have been dominant in the Premier League all season long though still find themselves as +300 underdogs to knock off Manchester City for the title.
Barcelona went undefeated in the group stage and then conceded just one goal combined against Lyon (Round of 16) and Manchester United (quarterfinal) to get here.
Barca are now undefeated in their last 22 matches, inlcuding 10 in the Champions League. They’ve lost just one time at home all season long and that came back in November (4-3 vs. Real Betis). The La Liga title is already wrapped up and a Copa del Rey Final against Valencia awaits on May 25th.
Barcelona vs. Liverpool: Odds to Advance to Final
- Open: Barcelona -150, Liverpool +125
- Current: Barcelona -135, Liverpool +115
Barcelona vs. Liverpool: First-Leg Odds (at Barcelona)
- Open: Barcelona -135, Liverpool +360, Draw +315
- Current: Barcelona -110, Liverpool +320, Draw +275
Barcelona vs. Liverpool: Injuries and Suspensions
- Rafinha – OUT (knee)
- Mo Salah – PROBABLE (muscle)
- Roberto Firmino – QUESTIONABLE (muscle)
- Fabinho – PROBABLE (head)
- Adam Lallana – OUT (muscle)
Barcelona vs. Liverpool: Betting Breakdown
Liverpool are receiving 46% of moneyline bets to win the first leg and have moved from +360 to +320 since opening around the market. Early sharp money was able to grab Liverpool and the draw at their highest prices, though we could see some buyback on Barcelona now that odds have dropped.
The Reds have also improved from +125 to +115 to advance to their second consecutive Champions League Final.
Roberto Firmino’s status is still up in the air for the first leg, but he’s included in Liverpool’s roster which is a good sign he’ll at least be available off the bench.
I wagered on Barca to win the title months ago and am now admittedly nervous about this semifinal matchup. One could argue that Liverpool are a stronger side overall, but Leo Messi makes a difference no one else on the planet can match.
In the totals market, we’ve monitored significant action toward the under, dropping from 3 to 2.75, and even 2.5 at some sportsbooks.
The return leg is set for Tuesday, May 7th at Liverpool, and the Reds would love to bring a goal or two back home. However, both clubs are among the top defensively in the world, so scoring could come at a premium.
Value seems to ultimately be lying with the draw (+275) and I could see a 1-1 final, but I’ll wait to see how the betting market reacts on matchday.