Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 October 2019

Explainer: Why Liverpool don't need to worry about facing Barcelona 48 hours after Newcastle

Premier League match against Newcastle slated for Sunday, May 5, with semi-final return leg on either May 7 or 8

Liverpool secured their place in the semi-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday, but some fans are concerned a Premier League fixture against Newcastle United could force them to play twice in three days.

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane were among the scorers as Liverpool beat Porto 4-1 away on Wednesday, securing a 6-1 aggregate victory after winning the first leg of their quarter-final at Anfield last week 2-0.

The comprehensive victory booked Liverpool a final-four date with Barcelona. Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax are the other semi-finalists.

Uefa announced on Thursday that Liverpool's first leg against Barcelona will take place at Camp Nou on Wednesday, May 1 with the return leg at Anfield on Tuesday, May 7. Tottenham will host Ajax on Wednesday, April 30 before facing the Dutch club in Amsterdam for the second leg on Wednesday, May 8.

Liverpool fans' apprehension concerns their Premier League match away to Newcastle United on Sunday, May 5, fearing they may have to face Lionel Messi and Co 48 hours after.

But Liverpool fans really should nothing to fear. The Reds can request from the Premier League for the match, which has already been moved once to accommodate British TV, be brought forward 24 hours. Alternatively, they could request a later date, although this would seem unlikely.

The match will be Newcastle's final home game of the season and, with Premier League leaders Liverpool chasing a first league title since 1990, the result could have a huge bearing on the title race with Manchester City in hot pursuit.

As long as Newcastle or local authorities, or Sky TV, have no objection, it is highly unlikely the league will not grant Liverpool's request.

Besides, Newcastle happen to be managed by Rafa Benitez, the Spaniard who is still warmly remembered on Merseyside after leading Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005 in "the miracle of Istanbul" after the Reds came from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan in a penalty shoot-out.

We're sure Rafa will see his old team right.

* This article was updated on April 18 following Uefa's announcements of the dates for each leg

Updated: April 18, 2019 03:05 PM

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