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Liverpool’s attacking unit is better than Barcelona’s - Hamann

11:00 AM WAT 01/05/2019
Mohamed Salah Sadio Mane Liverpool
Star names will be on show in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final and the former Reds midfielder has offered his verdict on the tie

Liverpool possess a better attacking unit than Barcelona, according to former  Reds midfielder Didi Hamann, ahead of their Champions League semi-final first leg on Wednesday.

La Liga winners Barca swept Liverpool’s arch-rivals Manchester United aside with ease in the quarter-finals, beating the Red Devils 4-0 over two legs.

The Premier League side progressed to the semi-finals with relative ease as well, beating Porto 6-1 over two legs to set up the last-four date with the Blaugrana. 

Barcelona boast the irrepressible Lionel Messi and former Reds striker Luis Suarez in their attacking ranks, but Hamann feels Liverpool’s formidable trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane is currently stronger.

Hamann told the Racing Post: “Barcelona will dominate possession, we can be sure of that, but they don’t boss games these days quite the way they used to. At home to Lyon, the possession stats were 51-49 in their favour so Liverpool will definitely have more of the ball than they might have envisaged a few seasons back.

“I would suggest that Liverpool’s attacking unit is probably a better collective than Barca’s at the moment with Reds’ old boy Luis Suarez not at his very best. And Suarez and Lionel Messi need to find a way past one of the best central defenders in the world in Virgil van Dijk, who will receive excellent protection from Fabinho, who’s looking more and more like a top holding midfielder.”

Messi has repeatedly shown he has the master key to unlock any defence put in front of him this season, scoring 46 goals in 46 appearances, while Suarez has contributed 26 goals in 50 appearances.

The Reds' attacking three of Mane, Firmino and Salah have netted 68 goals between them so far this season, which could suggest the tie could be a high-scoring affair, but Hamann believes otherwise.

“Don’t get duped into thinking there will be goals galore in this,” he added. “This tie should still be very much in the balance when they return to Anfield.”

While Barcelona have their domestic league title wrapped up, Liverpool are embroiled in a tight title race with Manchester City, with the reigning Premier League champions holding a one-point advantage over Jurgen Klopp's side with only two matches left to play.

The winners of this semi-final tie are set to take on either Tottenham or Ajax in the final on June 1 in Madrid.