Manchester United legend Gary Neville has backed Liverpool to beat Barcelona (Picture: Getty)Gary Neville believes Liverpool have a ’50-50′ chance of beating Barcelona should they meet the Catalan giants in the Champions League semi-finals.
Liverpool have a two-goal advantage heading into the second leg of their quarter-final tie with Porto and will face Barcelona for a place in the final barring an upset in Portugal on Wednesday night.
Barca beat Manchester United 4-0 on aggregate to progress into the final four and Neville watched on as his former club were comprehensively dispatched at the Nou Camp.
However, Neville is confident Juergen Klopp has the attacking players to hurt Ernesto Valverde’s side in the final four.
Asked about Barcelona’s chances in the competition, Neville told beIN SPORTS: ‘When you get into the semi-final you’re definitely good enough to win the competition.
‘With [Lionel] Messi in your team, [Gerard]Pique at the back, [Sergio] Busquets, [Luis] Suarez… the spine of that team is fantastic.
“The coaching staff will see there’s a massive gulf between Europe’s best teams and where #MUFC are at. Manchester United need to revamp their squad – he needs a new defence in its entirety.”#beINUCL #BARMUN 📺 HD11 pic.twitter.com/3G3xq0L9ZI
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‘But that first five minutes [against Manchester United]… they’re likely to play Liverpool in the semi-final and Liverpool are a lot better than United and won’t let them off the hook like that.
‘Liverpool’s front three will cause massive problems so I think it’s a 50-50 tie that semi-final. I wouldn’t say it’s Barcelona as favourites by any stretch of the imagination.
‘Liverpool are a good side and have a lot more energy than this Barcelona team.
‘They don’t have as much control or rhythm in midfield but I think certainly they can match them defensively and up top.’
Messi was at his frightening best against United at the Nou Camp (Picture: Getty)Rio Ferdinand has also backed Liverpool to pose a serious threat to Barcelona should they meet in the next round.
‘I think Klopp will look at those first ten minutes [of United against Barcelona] in this game today because, listen, if [Sadio] Mane, [Mohamed] Salah and [Roberto] Firmino go through there I’m expecting a different turnout on those occasions,’ he told BT Sport.
‘I think they score those chances.
‘I think that game could be set up perfectly for Liverpool because if they play on the counter-attack, they’re an energetic team, they have a physicality which is different to this Man United team. I think they’ll cause more problems to this Barcelona team.
‘But, saying that, they’ve got Messi and how you prepare for him… we don’t know.’
Ferdinand added: ‘I think an English team will win it this year.’
When Gary Lineker pushed Ferdinand for a specific club, he responded: ‘I think Liverpool will win it this year.’
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