Real Madrid stick with back three in warmup win ahead of Liverpool clash

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Real Madrid warmed up for the visit of Liverpool in the Champions League with a comfortable 2-0 win over Eibar, with Zinedine Zidane sticking with three at the back.

Real will host the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals on Tuesday night, with the Reds looking to take a vital away win before the return fixture on April 14.

The Madrid side have been beset with a number of injuries this season, as with Liverpool, and absences in attack have led to Zidane moving to a three-man defence for three of the last four games.

Eibar were the visitors on Saturday afternoon, and the Frenchman kept his 3-4-3 setup with Ferland Mendy, Nacho and Eder Militao taking their places at the back, suggesting this will remain that way in midweek.

Liverpool have often taken advantage of sides opting for a back three, and Jurgen Klopp will at least be aware of how to exploit the gaps in this system against a depleted Real.

But Real showed no signs of struggling as they warmed up for the quarter-final, with a goal in either half sealing a 2-0 victory at home to Eibar.

Marco Asensio opened the scoring four minutes before the break, before Karim Benzema sealed the three points in the 71th minute, in a game that Real dominated in terms of possession (63.6%), shots (21) and shots on target (eight).

It could have been much more, with Real seeing two more goals for Benzema and another for Asensio ruled out for offside, the pair thriving as part of the attacking unit alongside Isco.

MADRID, SPAIN - Wednesday, May 4, 2016: Real Madrid's Isco in action against Manchester City during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg match at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. (Pic by David Aliaga/Propaganda)

Isco was the key creator, laying on five chances for his team-mates, while Casemiro dominated midfield with two tackles, three interceptions and four clearances.

Toni Kroos, who was rumoured to be absent through injury, came off the substitutes’ bench, with Zidane withdrawing Asensio, Benzema, Isco, Marcelo and Luka Modric, seemingly with one eye on the next game.

Real will be without Sergio Ramos for at least the first leg, but Eden Hazard has recently returned to training and could possibly be in the squad against Liverpool.

Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Mendy, Nacho, Militao; Vazquez, Modric (Kroos 61′), Casemiro, Marcelo (Vinicius Jr 68′); Asensio (Rodrygo 61′), Isco (Arribas 68′), Benzema (Mariano 80′)

Subs not used: Lunin, Varane, Odriozola, Altube

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