Barcelona is planning to take inspiration from the tactics used by Manchester City when they faced Liverpool in the English Premier League earlier this season to prepare for the Champions League clash on Wednesday.
Manchester City managed to earn themselves 4 points against Liverpool in the English Premier League, allowing them to claim pole position for the title while still having two matches left to play. They managed to claim a 2-1 victory at the Etihad Stadium and endured a 0-0 draw at Anfield.
Reporters have recently stated that Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde are confident in their first leg clash against Liverpool on Wednesday. However, the team is also fully aware that this clash against Liverpool will be the most challenging game in recent years for Barcelona.
Ernesto Valverde’s Plans for Liverpool
The head coach for Barcelona has already spent hours going over 24 different Liverpool matches from the current season. However, it’s their two games against Manchester City that he is giving the most attention to. Ernesto Valverde believes that the key to defeating the Liverpool side is by overcoming their pressing. Manchester City, at times, resorted to long balls. Although Barcelona has never played football this way, it’s still being considered by the team as a last resort.
There’s no denying that Liverpool applies a lot of pressure in the form of 6 or 7 players. They intend to make their opponents feel uncomfortable, and when possible, rob the ball in the same manner. Barcelona wants to play the match like they always do. Get the ball and play through the press.
There have been loads of analysing done on the front-three of Liverpool, including Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Sane, while Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson as full-backs are also players that Barcelona needs to control as much as possible during each match. Ernesto Valverde confirmed on Saturday, before the match against Levante – where Barcelona was crowned La Liga Champions for the fourth time in 5 years – that he’s been analysing game data of Liverpool for most of his free time. Clement Lenglet also informed reporters that he and his team are going over video footage of Liverpool to prepare for the games ahead.
How Barcelona is Preparing for Liverpool
To successfully prepare for a clash against Liverpool, the head coach and players in Barcelona have watched many videos on the players they will face. The team is analysing what each player does during a match, how they move, how they dribble, how they react at a particular moment, and what foot they prefer to use during each match.
For instance, when does Robertson like to cross and where does he usually place the ball? When it comes to Firmino, does he prefer to attack from the front post or the back post? Barcelona believes that every little detail about their opponents it vital in their upcoming game, even if they are playing at home which will give them an added advantage.