Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino only makes the bench for his side’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Barcelona at Camp Nou.
Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino has only been deemed fit enough to make the bench for his side’s Champions League semi-final first leg against Barcelona at Camp Nou this evening.
The Brazilian missed Friday night’s 5-0 win over Huddersfield Town due to a small groin tear and has now failed to prove his fitness in time to be named in Jurgen Klopp‘s starting XI for tonight’s showdown.
Firmino’s compatriot Fabinho does return to the side, though, having overcome the head injury which ruled him out of Liverpool’s last game.
Fabinho’s return is one of four changes made from Friday’s match, with Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and James Milner also coming into the side.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is a surprise exclusion from the starting XI as he is replaced at right-back by Gomez, who makes his first start in any competition since December.
Barcelona, meanwhile, welcome talisman Lionel Messi back into their side after he was rested from the start at the weekend, with the Argentine looking for his 25th goal against English opposition – and his first against Liverpool.
Sergi Roberto and Sergio Busquets also come back into what is Barcelona’s oldest ever lineup for a Champions League match as Arthur and Nelson Semedo drop out for Ernesto Valverde‘s side.
Philippe Coutinho is chosen ahead of Ousmane Dembele to face his old club, while another former Liverpool favourite Luis Suarez leads the line for Barcelona.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Vidal; Messi, Suarez, Coutinho
Subs: Semedo, Arthur, Dembele, Cillessen, Malcom, Alena, Umtiti
Liverpool: Alisson; Gomez, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Keita, Salah, Mane
Subs: Lovren, Firmino, Henderson, Mignolet, Shaqiri, Origi, Alexander-Arnold
Follow Sports Mole‘s live in-depth coverage of tonight’s match by clicking here.
Combined XI: Barcelona vs. Liverpool