Reds seek revenge in biggest game of season so far – Real Madrid vs. Liverpool Preview

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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.

Saturday’s 3-0 win away to Arsenal was arguably the Premier League champions’ most dominant performance of 2020/21, as they swatted aside their opponents with ease.

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.

KIEV, UKRAINE - Saturday, May 26, 2018: Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring the first goal with head coach Zinédine Zidane during the UEFA Champions League Final match between Real Madrid CF and Liverpool FC at the NSC Olimpiyskiy. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

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.

 

Team News

Klopp has no new injury problems to contend with – something that has been a rarity this season.

Liverpool’s centre-back absentees have been well-documented, while Jordan Henderson‘s return from a groin problem is still a number of weeks away. Caoimhin Kelleher and Divock Origi are also missing.

The main headache Klopp has revolves around his starting lineup, with midfield and attack particularly competitive areas.

The back-line picks itself, with Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Nat Phillips, Ozan Kabak and Andy Robertson all expected to play.

Fabinho has been in monstrous form back in midfield and he is a certainty to start, along with the ever-improving Thiago.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 6, 2020: Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gini Wijnaldum will surely return in place of James Milner, having been rested against Arsenal.

There is the option of Klopp going with a 4-2-3-1 formation, however, allowing him to start Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota.

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)

2CPD2PP Soccer Football - Champions League Final - Real Madrid v Liverpool - NSC Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine - May 26, 2018 Liverpool's Mohamed Salah injures his shoulder in a challenge with Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

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?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 3, 2021: Liverpool's Diogo Jota (R) celebrates after scoring the first goal with team-mate Roberto Firmino during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.

 

Form

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 3, 2021: Liverpool's Diogo Jota scores the first goal with a header during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool – Last five results (all competitions)

Won 3-0 vs. Arsenal
Won 1-0 vs. Wolves
Won 2-0 vs. Leipzig
Lost 1-0 vs. Fulham
Lost 1-0 vs. Chelsea
Won 2-0 vs. Sheffield United

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

 

Klopp’s View

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

AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS - Wednesday, October 21, 2020: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp during the pre-match warm-up before the opening UEFA Champions League Group D match between AFC Ajax and Liverpool FC at the Johan Cruijff ArenA. (Pic by Gerrit van Keulen/Orange Pictures via Propaganda)

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.

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