By 90Min
May 07, 2019

It's not likely, but Anfield could be set to witness yet another memorable European night as Liverpool look to stage an improbable Champions League comeback against Barcelona.

The Reds lost the first leg of their semi-final 3-0 at Camp Nou, leaving Jurgen Klopp's side needing something miraculous to reach the final for a second successive season.

Their task has been made more difficult with the news that Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino will be unavailable for the second leg, with the pair's combined totals of 42 goals and 17 assists this season likely to be a huge miss for the Reds.

What it does mean is that unlikely heroes have the chance to etch their name into club folklore, by majorly contributing in Liverpool's attempt of reaching Champions League final at the Wanda Metropolitano on 1 June. 

Here's how Klopp could line up in the final third for the second leg against Barcelona


Shaqiri - Origi - Mane

Catherine Ivill/GettyImages

To avoid repetition, Sadio Mane will be appearing in every possible scenario.  As the only one available of Liverpool's fabled front three - as well as his record of 24 goals and two assists this season - the PFA Player of the Year nominee is nailed on to start.

Appearing alongside the Senegal international could be the duo of Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi, who have both scored goals at vital moments of the season.

Two of Shaqiri's six Premier League goals this season came against Manchester United at a critical point in the game, while Origi has popped up with vital goals of his own.

Late winners from the Belgium international against Everton and Newcastle - the latter of which was provided by Shaqiri's free-kick - have kept Liverpool in the title race, but it's in the Champions League now that the pair are now needed. 


Shaqiri - Sturridge - Mane

Julian Finney/GettyImages

A second alternative could see Daniel Sturridge come in the forward line, while Shaqiri also starts from the right in a position usually occupied by Salah. 

Out of all the options available to Klopp, Sturridge is the most experienced, meaning that the occasion of a Champions League semi-final isn't likely to put off a striker who's already won the competition with Chelsea in 2012. 

Like Origi and Shaqiri, the 29-year-old has come up with timely goals this season, most notably his stunning late equaliser against his aforementioned former club earlier this season, as well as the opening goal in a 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain in their opening group game of this season's Champions League. 

While Sturridge isn't exactly the most industrious, he does offer clever runs in behind defenders, and out of all the options left for Klopp, is arguably the most natural finisher available. 


Shaqiri - Brewster - Mane  

Jan Kruger/GettyImages

What else do Liverpool have to lose?

Rhian Brewster is rated extremely highly at the club, with Jurgen Klopp insisting the Under-17 World Cup winner is 'ready' should he be given the chance against Barcelona at Anfield, which would be his debut for the first-team.


At 19, debuts don't come much bigger than against Lionel Messi and Barcelona, but as Marcus Rashford proved on his debut for Manchester United - when he scored a brace in a Europa League win over FC Midtjylland in 2016 - if you're good enough, you're old enough.


Admittedly the Danish side don't come close to Barcelona in terms of quality, but it's almost a free hit for Brewster, and perhaps an opportunity that could be the making of him at Liverpool. 


Midfield Diamond With Mane & Either Origi, Sturridge or Brewster as Central Strikers 

Michael Regan/GettyImages

A change in formation could be in the offing for Klopp due to circumstances, which could see him revert from his preferred 4-3-3 to a midfield diamond and two up top. 

Like Liverpool, Barcelona's width stems from the full-backs, which judging from the first leg will be Sergi Roberto and Jordi Alba, meaning there would be more bodies in central areas for the Reds to contend with. 

With Fabinho at the base, Jordan Henderson and James Milner right and left respectively, and Georginio Wijnaldum at the tip, it provides Liverpool with an energetic and physical presence in the middle of the park.

Up top it's a case of who Klopp would prefer to partner Mane. If it's physicality he will choose Origi, whereas if he's after someone with clever movement then Sturridge will be selected, while Brewster offers youthful exuberance and an abundance of pace. 

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