Fresh injury news before Liverpool clash

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Liverpool have been handed a fresh piece of injury news for their Champions League game against Barcelona on Tuesday as Ousmane Dembélé has been ruled out.
Barca tweeted that the forward has suffered a hamstring injury in their 2-0 loss to Celta Vigo in news that may give the Reds hope.

The Catalan giants have already won the league and chose to field an entirely different side to the one that took on Liverpool last week.

Among the starters was Kevin-Prince Boateng, 21-year-old Carles Aleñá – who has only played 15 times this season and 33-year-old Thomas Vermaelen.

Alongside that motley crew of names were youngsters Moussa Wague and Rique Puig, so perhaps the defeat doesn’t really come as much surprise.

Dembélé may have torn his hammy, reported Goal, and was taken off after only six minutes. It’s not just fatigue, said manager Ernesto Valverde, because he hardly featured against Liverpool.

That means Philippe Coutinho may be forced to play the full 90 minutes against the Reds – and whether that’s good news or not depends on whether he’s 2018/2019 Phil or 2017/2018.

Barcelona won the first leg 3-0, largely due to the brilliance of Lionel Messi. Messi scored twice, including one incredible free kick, and will be ready to do the same again.

Valverde decided not to feature the Argentine against Celta, which is definitely bad news for the Reds. A fit and fresh Messi will rip any side to shreds when he’s on form, and this season he’s definitely been on form.

Coutinho also didn’t feature as the Barca gaffer decided to keep his powder dry for the match. That shows how he’s treating the Reds game and doesn’t feel that things are done just yet.

The Reds will go into the fixture off the back of a battling 3-2 win over Newcastle United on Saturday night.

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