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Liverpool vs Barcelona: Milner predicts winner of Champions League semi-final clash

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Champions League semi-final clash

Liverpool’s James Milner is confident his side can beat Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, saying the Premier League club’s style of play can cause the Spanish champions problems.

Liverpool, who comfortably eased past Porto to reach the semi-finals, will travel to the Nou Camp for the first leg on May 1 with the return leg at Anfield a week later on May 7.

“We can beat Barca but we know it will be very tough,” Milner told reporters.

“They’re 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.

“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’re 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’ll have to be at our best but (it’s) tough for them too.”

Barcelona, who eliminated Manchester United with a 4-0 aggregate score to advance, are eyeing the treble this season.

The Catalans have a nine-point lead in the La Liga standings and are also in the final of the Copa del Rey.

They beat Porto, Manchester City and AS Roma in the knockout stages last season to reach the final where they lost to Real Madrid. Milner is counting on Liverpool’s European experience over the last two seasons to get them over the line.

“Over the last couple of seasons, with the teams we’ve beaten in the Champions League, we should go there with confidence no matter how tough it is going to be,” Milner added.

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

Premier League leaders Liverpool travel to relegation-threatened Cardiff City on Sunday.

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Premier League table: Chelsea fail to go third with Burnley draw as EPL top four battle hots up

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Premier League table

Chelsea failed to go up to third place, following a 2-2 draw with Burnley on Monday night.

A win for Maurizio Sarri’s men, would have seen them leapfrog top-four ribals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

The Blues rallied back to lead 2-1 with goals from N’Golo Kante and Gonzalo Higuain, after Jeff Hendrick gave the visitors a shock lead.

Burnley equalized before the break, with Ashley Barnes firing past Kepa Arizzabalaga from a set-piece and there were no goals in the second half.

Chelsea now sit in fourth place with 67 points, the same with Spurs and one ahead of Arsenal, who have an oustanding game against Wolves on Wednesday.

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Transfer: Hazard agrees personal terms with Real Madrid

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Chelsea superstar, Eden Hazard has agreed personal terms with Real Madrid over a potential move, according to Telefoot.
Hazard has long been linked with Real Madrid, with manager Zinedine Zidane being an admirer.

Chelsea superstar, Eden Hazard has agreed personal terms with Real Madrid over a potential move, according to Telefoot.
Hazard has long been linked with Real Madrid, with manager Zinedine Zidane being an admirer.

The Belgian will enter the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge this summer.

That means it will be the last transfer window the Blues can ask for a big transfer fee for the winger.

Fred Calenge, Telefoot journalist, claimed that the winger has agreed personal terms with Real Madrid.

The 28-year-old has made no secret of his desire to one day play for Real Madrid.

Real Madrid goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois had admitted that Hazard, his former Chelsea teammate, would be a big asset for the La Liga giants.

“I [would] choose Eden, of course,” Courtois told Belgian newspaper, Het Nieuwsblad.

“I really like him, but the choice is up to the board

“I do not know what will happen. That is not a question for me, but for the chairman and the management.

“The team is what it is now. Karim Benzema is in a good shape and scored 17 goals. [Gareth] Bale started well, but then had to deal with injuries.

“You see in the matches that we have quality, only sometimes it is not possible to score.”

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Barcelona coach, Ernesto Valverde names ‘best manager’ in world football

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Barcelona coach, Ernesto Valverde has identified Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola as the “best manager” in world football.

Valverde said this on Friday while reacting to Manchester City’s Champions League exit.

Guardiola’s men were knock out of this year’s Europe top-flight tournament on Wednesday night by Tottenham Hotspur.

But Valverde believes Guardiola is currently the best manager without any doubt.

Speaking ahead of Barcelona’s La Liga fixture against Real Sociedad on Saturday night, Valverde was quoted by Marca as saying in Friday’s pre-match press conference: “He [Guardiola] is the best manager in the world without any doubt.

“Regardless of whether he has fallen in the Champions League.”

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