Liverpool will need to do what they have only done once before when two goals behind in a European tie as Real Madrid descend on Anfield in their final quarter-final battle.
Liverpool vs. Real Madrid
Wednesday, April 14, 2021 – 8pm (BST)
Champions League Quarter-Final, Second Leg
Referee: Bjorn Kuipers (NED)
A less than impressive first-leg showing leaves Liverpool with a lot to do, a 3-1 deficit to overturn to be exact.
It’s a sizeable mountain to have to climb but this side have proven time and time again that they cannot be considered out for the count.
European comebacks are entrenched in the fabric of the club, but this one they will need to overcome without the presence of a feral and boisterous Anfield crowd.
Thankfully, the monkey is off their back after an eight-game run without a win at home, with the late victory over Aston Villa a welcome boost – and now they must curate their own atmosphere to get the job done.
Zinedine Zidane’s men showcased their European experience once more in the first leg and exposed a number of weaknesses the Reds were all too happy to show off.
The away goal secured by Mohamed Salah hands the Reds a lifeline but they must couple intensity with clear minds if they are to use it as a springboard for a memorable comeback.
History beckons once more, now it’s time for Klopp’s men to seize it. Leave it all out there, Reds.
The Reds, thankfully, do not seem to have any new pressing injury concerns which emerged from the weekend’s victory – with Klopp not providing an update in his pre-match press conference.
Curtis Jones, however, was absent against Villa due to a precaution over a muscle injury and was subsequently not present as the team were put through their paces at Kirkby on Tuesday.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, will remain without Raphael Varane, Sergio Ramos, Eden Hazard and Dani Carvajal for the clash, while Lucas Vazquez dropped out of the 21-man squad after a season-ending knee injury sustained against Barcelona.
And doubts continue to linger over Fede Valverde after a knock sustained in the El Clasico win.
Possible Real Madrid XI: Courtois; Odriozola, Militao, Nacho, Mendy; Casemiro, Kroos, Modric; Asensio, Vinicius Jr, Benzema
Last 5 Meetings with Real Madrid
Lost 3-1 – April 2021 (Vinicius Jr x2, Asensio; Salah)
Lost 3-1 – May 2018 (Mane; Benzema, Bale x2)
Lost 1-0 – November 2014 (Benzema)
Lost 3-0 – October 2014 (Ronaldo, Benzema x2)
Won 4-0 – March 2014 (Torres, Gerrard x2 (1 pen), Dossena)
Did You Know?
Liverpool face a task they have only once successfully overcome, with a two-goal deficit in a European tie overturned just once in the club’s history on nine separate occasions.
It came in the 1991/92 UEFA Cup second round, where they beat French side Auxerre 3-0 in the second leg at Anfield to secure a 3-2 win on aggregate.
It’s been a rough season to date, but on 12 occasions this campaign Liverpool have won by a margin that would be good enough to progress to the semi-final. Four of those scorelines have come in Europe.
It will not be easy, but it can be done.
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Real Madrid – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 2-1 vs. Barcelona
Won 3-1 vs. Liverpool
Won 2-0 vs. Eibar
Won 3-1 vs. Celta Vigo
Won 3-1 vs. Atalanta
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp knows his side have “not a lot to lose” as they chase down the right result at Anfield:
“When you’re 3-1 down it looks like you are already out, that means you have not a lot to lose, let me say it like this. We will give it a try.
“It’s just we have to bring ourselves in the mood that we start believing in that again. If that happens, if we can see that it’s possible until tomorrow night then we have a chance. But it’s still incredibly difficult.
“If it is a 2-1, it’s not enough but close enough to maybe score a third one. If it is a 2-0, it would be enough. I don’t know in the moment, but what we have to do is pretty clear.
“Everyone who saw us playing well knows what we have to do in these moments because it is exactly playing like our best selves.”
TV & Liveblog Info
Liverpool vs. Real Madrid kicks off at 8pm (BST) and will be shown live in the UK on BT Sport 2, with coverage starting from 7pm.
Chris Williams has you covered on This Is Anfield’s matchday liveblog, so be sure to tune in here for all his usual bias commentary, starting from 7.15pm.