James Milner: Liverpool 'Can Beat' Barcelona in UCL Semi-Finals

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2019

Liverpool's English midfielder James Milner leaves after a press conference at the Dragao Stadium in Porto on April 16, 2019 on the eve of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between FC Porto and Liverpool. (Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MIGUEL RIOPA/AFP/Getty Images)
MIGUEL RIOPA/Getty Images

James Milner has acknowledged "it will be very tough" for Liverpool to get past Barcelona in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, but he is convinced the Reds can reach their second consecutive final. 

Liverpool eased past Porto 6-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals, winning 4-1 at the Estadio do Dragao in the second leg on Wednesday (U.S. only):

Barcelona will be a much tougher assignment. They have arguably been the best side in the tournament so far this term and are favourites to win the famous trophy:

However, Milner believes his Liverpool side have enough quality to oust Lionel Messi's Barca, per Dom Farrell of Goal:

"We can beat Barca but we know it will [be] very tough. I've been there a couple of times in the knockout stages with [Manchester] City and not got the right result, so hopefully it is third time lucky for me. They are a strong team, and it is a tough place to go, but I don't think they will have played too many teams with the style we play either. It will be difficult.  

"They are a team full of great individual talent and a great side too. The Camp Nou is a fantastic stadium and a fantastic place to play with a great atmosphere. It will be very tough, and we will have to be at our best but tough for them too. Over the last couple of seasons, with the teams we have beaten in the Champions League, we should go there with confidence no matter how tough it is going to be.  

"I'm sure you can see in this year's run, and in games when things haven't been going well that we have got the experience. We have been there before and know how to get results."

Liverpool are still on track for a momentous double this season. They are top of the Premier League table, although second-placed Manchester City have a game in hand, and are as close as they have ever been to ending their title drought stretching back to 1990:

Meanwhile, if Jurgen Klopp's side get past Barca, they will be favourites in the Champions League final against either Tottenham Hotspur or Ajax.

The Blaugrana are not unbeatable, and their defence has been vulnerable this season.

But at the Camp Nou their record is remarkable. They have not lost a Champions League match in Catalonia since May 2013, winning 28 of their last 31 home matches in the competition.

Liverpool visit the Camp Nou for the first leg of their quarter-final tie on Wednesday, May 1.

If they can return to Anfield a week later with the tie still in the balance, and potentially with an away goal, they will have an excellent chance of advancing to the final. 

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