Real Madrid warmed up for their trip to Anfield with a late win against Osasuna on Saturday night, with two key players also returning.
It took until the 78th minute for Carlo Ancelotti’s side to make the breakthrough, Federico Valverde slotting home from Vinicius Jr.’s pullback.
Substitute Marco Asensio added a second in stoppage time to complete a 16th league win in 22 games this season and move to five points behind Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
It was Los Blancos’ second win of the week since returning from the Fifa Club World Cup, where they beat Al Hilal 5-3 in the final last Saturday.
Before the Club World Cup, their league form had been a little patchier, losing 1-0 to Mallorca and drawing 0-0 with Real Sociedad, with Thibaut Courtois missing for the latter.
Courtois has, sadly for Liverpool, returned to fitness now though and the win over Osasuna was his first appearance in five games.
Dani Carvajal also returned, coming on for the last 14 minutes, and Ancelotti confirmed after that “Carvajal is going to play at Anfield.”
Indeed, much like Liverpool, Real’s injuries are clearing up just in time for the return of European football.
Toni Kroos, Aurelien Tchouameni, Karim Benzema and Ferland Mendy missed the match on Saturday, but all three of Kroos, Tchouameni and Benzema could be fit to return to the Champions League last-16 first-leg at Anfield on Tuesday.
“We are doing well,” said Ancelotti. “We go into the game at Anfield in good shape and with all the confidence in the world. Tchouameni had stomach problems. Karim I think will be fine for that game and Kroos is back in training.”
Ancelotti: No planning for Liverpool yet
It has, though, been a busy month for Real, having played six games this month.
So busy that, speaking before their game on Saturday, Ancelotti claimed to have done no preparation for the Liverpool match.
“We have dedicated zero hours to the Liverpool game so far, because they’re also a team that we know well,” the Spaniard said.
He went on to say that the lineup vs. Osusuna “might be repeated on Tuesday” – something that he then contradicted post-match by saying Carvajal will play vs. Liverpool.
Whatever their lineup at Anfield, it will be a strong side facing the Reds.
Real lineup vs. Osasuna: Courtois, Fernandez, Militao, Rudiger, Alaba, Camavinga, Modric, Ceballos, Valverde, Rodrygo, Vinicius Jr.