Sky Sports pundit gives his prediction for FC Barcelona v Liverpool FC

Charlie Nicholas is backing FC Barcelona to ease to a 2-1 victory over Liverpool FC in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night

Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp (Photo: New Balance)

Charlie Nicholas is tipping FC Barcelona edge to a narrow 2-1 win over Liverpool FC in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final on Wednesday night.

The Reds will make the trip to defending La Liga champions FC Barcelona in mid-week following a 5-0 victory over Huddersfield Town in the Premier League last Friday night.

Liverpool FC were 6-1 winners against FC Porto in the Champions League quarter-final to set up a meeting with Ernesto Valverde’s men.

FC Barcelona eased to a comfortable 4-0 aggregate victory over Liverpool FC’s bitter rivals Manchester United in the previous round.

The Catalan side will be full of confidence after FC Barcelona retained their La Liga crown thanks to their 1-0 win against Levante at Camp Nou on Saturday.

Sky Sports pundit Nicholas is backing FC Barcelona to beat Liverpool FC 2-1 in the first leg of their Champions League last four on Wednesday night.

“We are into the Hollywood part of the tournament now, and these two will be favourites to lift the trophy whoever reaches the final,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“Barcelona clinched the title and Lionel Messi scored in a 30-minute cameo and was, crucially, rested.

“When you hear Messi speak about individual things you know he means business, and he has come out and said he wants the Champions League in his locker once more.”

Nicholas added: “This is a 50/50 tie in my eyes, though. When you go to the Camp Nou, you have to be cautious.

“When you go and attack teams, Liverpool’s weakness, if there is a weakness, is their midfield. The instinct here is to say lots of goals.

“The defensive qualities of both teams have improved, so Liverpool will have to be patient, they are quite good at doing that. That said, I fancy Luis Suarez to get his first goal of the campaign against his old team to leave the tie wide open for the second leg.”

Liverpool FC are in second place in the Premier League and two points behind Manchester City in the title race despite already amassing 91 points this term.

Jurgen Klopp is still looking to win his first major trophy at Liverpool FC after the former Borussia Dortmund head coach took over the reins in October 2015.

Liverpool FC lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in the Champions League final last term after Alisson Becker produced a poor performance at in the Kiev final.

MORE: Latest Liverpool FC news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

Christian Pulisic
Jamie Carragher assesses Christian Pulisic’s situation at Chelsea FC
Alexander-Arnold vs James
Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Reece James – What Do The Stats Say?
Gossip
Frenkie De Jong
Fabrizio Romano provides update on Chelsea FC link to Frenkie De Jong
Gossip
Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth
Sky Sports reporter delivers update on Chelsea FC search for next signing
Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp makes admission about Arsenal ahead of Liverpool FC clash
Christian Pulisic
Jamie Carragher assesses Christian Pulisic’s situation at Chelsea FC
Alexander-Arnold vs James
Trent Alexander-Arnold vs Reece James – What Do The Stats Say?
Gossip
Frenkie De Jong
Fabrizio Romano provides update on Chelsea FC link to Frenkie De Jong
Gossip
Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth
Sky Sports reporter delivers update on Chelsea FC search for next signing
Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp makes admission about Arsenal ahead of Liverpool FC clash
Slideshow
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature