Despite suggestions that Eden Hazard could return from injury to face Liverpool, he has been left out of their 21-man squad for the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.
Zinedine Zidane had hinted that the former Chelsea man could be back in the fold on Tuesday evening after missing eight of Real’s last nine league games through injury.
However, Hazard has not made the final cut as it appears they have rightly opted for caution over the 30-year-old who has made just 36 appearances for Los Blancos since his move back in 2019.
He has been plagued by injury in recent years and his absence will ensure he cannot add to his tally of seven goals in 18 appearances against the Reds, in the first leg at least.
Hazard joins Sergio Ramos on the sidelines for Liverpool’s visit, but seven of Zidane’s players who started in Kyiv back in 2018 have been named in their 21-man squad.
Raphael Varane, Marcelo, Luke Modric, Casimiro, Toni Kroos, Isco and Karim Benzema will all be present, as will seven who took to the pitch for Liverpool in that final.
Despite being on an 11-game unbeaten streak, which includes nine wins, Zidane feels his side have been underestimated heading into the clash.
“Well, I think so,” Zidane said in his pre-match press conference. “In the end, we deserve trust. What we can focus on is the day to day job. This team never gives up on anything.”
And there were also some nice words for Jurgen Klopp as the two meet for only the second time as opposing managers.
“He’s a great coach,” Zidane said. “He’s coached for a long time and he has experience. He’s done very good work throughout his career, and everyone does their job their own way.”
The Reds, meanwhile, have no fresh injury concerns and trained as normal at Kirkby on Monday afternoon.
Real Madrid’s squad vs. Liverpool
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Lunin, Altube
Defenders: Militao, Varane, Nacho, Marcelo, Odriozola, Mendy
Midfielders: Kroos, Modric, Casemiro, Valverde, Isco, Arribas
Forwards: Benzema, Asensio, Lucas V, Vinicius Jr, Mariano, Rodrygo