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Reds must throw the kitchen sink to join exclusive list – Liverpool vs. Real Madrid Preview

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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)
Anfield
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.

MADRID, SPAIN - Tuesday, April 6, 2021: Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara appeals to the referee during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg game between Real Madird CF and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. (Pic by Propaganda)

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.

 

Team News

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 10, 2021: Liverpool and Aston Villa players stand for a minute’s silence following the death of Prince Philip the day before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.

Divock Origi and Caoimhin Kelleher also remained sidelined for this one along with those on the existing long-term injury list.

Klopp will have a number of selection choices available to him, with James Milner, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri all vying for spots, while Thiago is expected to return to the XI.

MADRID, SPAIN - Tuesday, April 6, 2021: Real Madrid's Toni Kroos (L) and Liverpool's Nathaniel Phillips during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg game between Real Madird CF and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. (Pic by Propaganda)

And a decision will need to be made over Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota in the forward line if the manager does not opt for all four from the off.

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

MADRID, SPAIN - Tuesday, November 4, 2014: Liverpool's Emre Can in action against Real Madrid CF during the UEFA Champions League Group B match at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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, ENGLAND - Thursday, March 4, 2021: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.

 

Form

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 10, 2021: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (R) celebrates with team-mate Xherdan Shaqiri after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 2-1 vs. Aston Villa
Lost 3-1 vs. Real Madrid
Won 3-0 vs. Arsenal
Won 1-0 vs. Wolves
Won 2-0 vs. Leipzig

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

 

Klopp’s View

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, ENGLAND - Tuesday, October 27, 2020: A general view of Anfield from the Spion Kop before the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Liverpool FC and FC Midtjylland at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.

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