Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler have backed Liverpool to come out on top against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final after they comfortably dispatched FC Porto in the quarter-final second leg on Wednesday.

The Reds recorded a 4-1 victory on the night, winning the tie 6-1 on aggregate, with goals from Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk helping them secure their place in the last four.

Owen believes the fact that Liverpool will host the Catalans at Anfield for the second leg could prove vital in their bid to reach a second European final in as many years.


Speaking to BT Sport as quoted by the Mail Online, the former Liverpool striker said: “With the first game at the Nou Camp that's a huge advantage. Going back to Anfield that's a real bonus."

Klopp's side are unbeaten in their last 18 games at home across all competitions and Owen had his feelings echoed by fellow ex-Red Robbie Fowler.

Fowler agreed, claiming Manchester United’s performance in their first leg against the La Liga leaders showed that there are weaknesses to exploit, adding: “I think they've got a great chance.

“Man United showed at Old Trafford that teams can get behind them. With Liverpool's attacking prowess, they're more of a match for anyone.”


Whilst both agreed that Liverpool can cause problems going forward, Owen's admiration of Joel Matip was greeted with mixed feelings from Fowler. 

Matip has started 15 Premier League games at centre-back, forging a solid partnership with Van Dijk since Joe Gomez broke his leg away to Burnley in December.

Owen heaped praise on the 27-year-old and as quoted by the Express said: "He’s been brilliant this season, Matip, because I didn’t expect it from him if I’m honest.

“I never really looked at him and thought ‘he’s a Liverpool starter’ in the past. But he’s got the shirt and he’s not let it go.”


Fowler edged on the side of caution regarding Matip's form, adding that having a world class partner like Van Dijk is the key to their success at the heart of Liverpool's defence.

The Liverpool legend added: “What I will say about Matip is I think he’s really improved this year. I think playing with Van Dijk has certainly helped him. At times he can be a bit of a liability.

“I will say he has improved but I think he has got a little bit of a rick in him, so that’s why it’s important you get a player like Van Dijk with him.”

The first leg of the semi-final will take place later this month but in the meantime, Liverpool will be back in action on Sunday afternoon. They travel to Cardiff looking to take all three points and maintain their title challenge.