Coutinho starts for Barca against Liverpool, Firmino on the bench

Philippe Coutinho was picked to start Barcelona's Champions League semi-final first leg against his former club Liverpool, who selected fellow Brazil international Roberto Firmino on the bench. 

Coutinho has garnered mixed reviews since swapping Merseyside for Catalonia in a reported €160million move in January 2018 but, following a stunning goal against Manchester United in the previous round, he was granted a spot alongside Lionel Messi and another ex-Red Luis Suarez in Barca's front three at Camp Nou. 

Liverpool's own feted trident were not all named from the start, however, with Firmino among the substitutes after sitting out last Friday's 5-0 win over Huddersfield Town with an ankle knock. 

Naby Keita was set to line up on the left of Jurgen Klopp's attack alongside Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, while James Milner got the nod to start alongside Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum in midfield. 

Club captain Jordan Henderson had to be content with a place among the substitutes alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold, the England right-back dropped in favour of Joe Gomez. 

Barca head coach Ernesto Valverde expressed a pre-match wish to disrupt the supply line to Liverpool's attackers and Arturo Vidal being preferred in midfield to playmaker Arthur appears to be in line with those sentiments. 

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