Liverpool face Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday night, in the biggest game of the season so far.
Real Madrid vs. Liverpool
Tuesday, April 6, 2021 – 8pm (BST)
Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano
Champions League Quarter-Final, First Leg
Referee: Felix Brych (GER)
It’s still early days, but it looks as though the Reds have got their mojo back.
Add to that recent wins over RB Leipzig and Wolves, and Liverpool have found some form at a crucial time following an alarming winter slump.
On Tuesday, Jurgen Klopp‘s side have a mouthwatering encounter to look forward to, as they take on Madrid in a heavyweight European clash.
It was the La Liga giants who famously broke Reds hearts in the 2018 Champions League final and revenge is certainly the narrative ahead of this one.
Madrid aren’t the force they once were, with key men moving on and others ageing, but their pedigree in the competition remains great, not to mention their winning mentality.
Getting that all-important away goal has to be a primary aim for Liverpool at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, as they look to go one step closer to European Cup number seven.
It should be a fascinating evening in Spain.
Klopp has no new injury problems to contend with – something that has been a rarity this season.
The main headache Klopp has revolves around his starting lineup, with midfield and attack particularly competitive areas.
More likely is that Jota starts in place of one of the trio, though – Firmino is arguably the most likely to make way.
Madrid will be without Kyiv villain Sergio Ramos for both legs, with the Spanish legend unavailable with a muscle injury that could keep him out for a month.
Dani Carvajal, Eden Hazard, Toni Kroos and Fede Valverde are all expected to miss out, too.
Last 5 Meetings with Real Madrid (All Competitions)
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)
Won 1-0 – February 2014 (Benayoun)
Did You Know?
Jota has been an incredible signing by Liverpool, with his lengthy absence through injury playing a huge role in the Reds’ struggles.
In fact, the 24-year-old has now scored 12 goals in just 13 starts for his new club, with his game-changing ruthlessness on show at Arsenal on Saturday.
Jota has also been shining for Portugal, scoring three times during the recent international break, and he has 18 goals in as many starts for club and country this season.
He surely has to start on Tuesday evening.
Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)
Real Madrid – Last five results (all competitions)
Won 2-0 vs. Eibar
Won 3-1 vs. Celta Vigo
Won 3-1 vs. Atalanta
Won 2-1 vs. Elche
Drew 1-1 vs. Atletico Madrid
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp insisted the Reds are not on a “revenge tour” and only have their minds set on a place in the semi-final:
“We are not on a revenge tour here. Life is like this. I don’t believe too much in revenge, but it would be nice to get through.
“We feel in a good moment in the Premier League. Now we hope to keep that momentum. That would be very helpful.
“Our motivation is at the highest level because it is the Champions League and we want to go to the next round, it has nothing to do with 2018.
“It was long ago and so I can’t get feeling back, that anger, so I don’t even try. What I try is to prepare my team for tomorrow to show how good we are as a football team.”
TV & Liveblog Info
Real Madrid vs. Liverpool kicks off at 8pm (BST) and will be shown live in the UK on BT Sport 2, with coverage from 7pm.
Chris Williams is in charge of This Is Anfield’s matchday liveblog, keeping you up-to-date with the action and providing you with biased updates from 7.15pm.