Champions League: Mourinho predicts Liverpool vs Barcelona
Former Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho, has said Liverpool have a fantastic opportunity to beat Barcelona and reach the final of the Champions League.
The Reds progressed to the last four with a 6-1 aggregate win over FC Porto, while Barca saw off Manchester United, scoring three times in the second leg at Camp Nou.
“The reality is that Liverpool last season played the final, and this season they are in the semi-finals with, in my opinion, a 50% chance of being in the final.
“I think they are better [than last season]. I would say Barca without Messi, Liverpool are favourites. But Barca with Messi… Messi is Messi,” Mourinho told Russia today.
He continued: “I think if Barcelona plays in Liverpool, second leg, the same way they played the first leg at Old Trafford, they will be in trouble.
“So I think in the first match, Barcelona will go obviously to try to be in front. But, as we were saying before, Mane, Salah, Firmino – not so direct but the way he links the play – they are very dangerous, they can also hurt Barcelona.
“I imagine that Barcelona’s motivation cannot be higher. The previous final played in Madrid, they lost the semi-final. This is the next final in Madrid, it’s not in the Santiago Bernabeu but it’s in Madrid, which for them, socially as a club, means something.
“We know that man [Messi] can change things like he did against United, he got that space, he got that dribble, he got that shot, 1-0, goodbye the game is in our hands.
“I would say they are a bit – a bit – more favourites than Liverpool, but I think it’s 50/50. Liverpool as a team, Salah, Mane, can also hurt people.”