Real Madrid vs. Liverpool – predictions, team news, line-ups

Preview: Real Madrid vs. Liverpool – predictions, team news, line-ups

Needing to rouse the magic of the Bernabeu to prolong their European campaign, Liverpool travel to the Spanish capital to face Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie on Wednesday night.

Continental veteran Carlo Ancelotti came from 2-0 down to record a phenomenal 5-2 first-leg victory at Anfield three weeks ago, and only disastrous calamity would have seen a ticket to the quarter-finals change hands.

Even as Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah – the latter receiving a helping hand, or knee, from Thibaut Courtois – left the Anfield crowd in awe, there was not the least bit of fear in the stiff-faced Carlo Ancelotti, whose team suffered an early crash. their only seven-goal win. more astonishing.

Matching Courtois for a mistake of the night with a direct pass at the feet of Vinicius Junior, Alisson Becker conceded twice for the young Brazil star in the remaining minutes of the first half, before Eder Militao’s header and Karim Benzema’s double turned the cherry on the famous Merseyside side. side. persecute.

Seemingly draining all of their match-winning energy at Anfield, the reigning La Liga champions failed to win in their next three domestic matches – including a 1-0 loss to Barcelona in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final – but they typed back with a comfortable 3-1 win over Espanyol. on weekends.

With Benzema remaining in the bubble wrap, Vinicius and Militao were once again on the scoresheet alongside Marco Asensio as Los Blancos remain nine points adrift of leaders Barcelona, but their 300th Champions League game is now stealing the spotlight amid their top-flight woes.

Of the last 27 times Real won the first leg of a Champions League away game, they have progressed from 26 – down only to 2018-19 Ajax man Erik ten Hag in that time – but they will not be taking a leaf off the Netherlands’ books here after Manchester United’s humiliation Anfield.

A timely repeat of Manchester United’s 7-0 defeat at the Bernabeu will undoubtedly be the biggest Champions League result on record, but a week is a long time in football, as evidenced by Liverpool’s flat performance in their shock defeat. Bournemouth at lunch on Saturday.

Failing to heed warning signs at the break and conceding the opener by Philip Billing as a result, Liverpool were handed a rare golden chance to equalize from 12 yards – their first Premier League penalty since April 2022 – but it was usually Salah who reliably found place. wild to the stands.

Defeat at South Beach allowed Tottenham Hotspur to go further in the race for fourth place in the Premier League table, so prioritizing a jaw-dropping Champions League comeback would be the first step towards safety on Wednesday, and Klopp refuses to wave the white flag. after that. witnessed the first leg defeat.

Of course, Liverpool are no newcomers in terms of spectacular comebacks in Europe – coming from 3-0 down to beat Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate in 2018-19 – but the absence of the Anfield faithful and Divock Origi will surely meet in one game. Quick-take the ideal far corner.

Moreover, Klopp’s men have only two away wins to shout about from their eight away fixtures in 2023, and they are winless in seven games with Real Madrid since their 2008-09 quarter-final win. The score in the second leg of the giant fight? 4-0.

Real Madrid Champions League form:

Real Madrid form (all competitions):

Liverpool Champions League form:

Liverpool form (all competitions):

Team News

Missed against Espanyol as a precaution due to an ankle problem, Ballon d’Or winner Benzema has since rejoined his team-mates for full training and is expected to lead the line at Anfield, and Ancelotti will also have to rely on a return on the left wing. Ferland Mendy is back.

The Frenchman has been out with a thigh problem since late January, so Ancelotti may refuse to take chances from him from the first whistle, while David Alaba came off with a thigh problem of his own in the first leg and is expected to do so. sit on this one.

After utilizing Eduardo Camavinga at left-back versus Espanyol, Ancelotti will have to bring on either Antonio Rudiger or Mendy – depending on his fitness level – for the second leg, with the presence of the former allowing Nacho Fernandez to switch to a wide role.

As for Liverpool, Klopp is still considering the absence of Luis Diaz, Thiago Alcantara and Calvin Ramsay – the former able to return to team training this week but will not be considered for selection until after the international break – although Joe Gomez has recovered from the muscle problem he suffered in the first leg.

The midfield crisis also threatens Klopp’s preparations, as Jordan Henderson (illness) and Stefan Bajcetic (adductor) missed late, while Arthur was not named in their Champions League knockout squad and Naby Keita is a slight doubt through injury.

Diogo Jota was the bright spark against Bournemouth when replacing Harvey Elliott in the first half, and with the gung-ho approach required to save their European man, Klopp might consider bringing the Portuguese to an ambitious 4-2-3-1 or 4 formation. . -4-2 setups, especially with limited options in the engine bay.

Probable Real Madrid line-up:
Courtois; Carvajal, Militao, Rudiger, Nacho; Modric, Tchouameni, Kroos; Valverde, Benzema, Vinicius Jr

Possible Lineup of Liverpool Players:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Keita; Salah, Jota, Nunez;

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