Real Madrid defender Eder Militao has named two players to be wary of heading into Wednesday night’s second leg at the Bernabeu – although one of them is unlikely to even start for Liverpool.
Militao scored a header in Madrid’s 5-2 win at Anfield last month, but the Brazilian has made it clear that the job isn’t done yet and identified two players who he thinks can still make an impact in the tie.
The centre-back named Mohamed Salah and, surprisingly, Roberto Firmino as two Liverpool players to watch out for in the Champions League last 16 tie in Madrid.
Madrid’s demoralising comeback at Anfield sees them head into the game as big favourites to progress, but Militao remains in a cautious mood heading into this one.
“Liverpool have a super squad and now we do not want to be surprised at home,” says the centre-back. “Mo Salah has come into a good moment in attack.
“He is always dangerous and against us he is hyper-motivated, and also Roberto Firmino is scoring goals again. So until the end of this match, nothing has been decided.”
It is perhaps no surprise that Firmino received a mention given that the pair play alongside each other for Brazil, but Firmino’s late goal against Man United last week was his first since November, and he’s highly unlikely to start on Wednesday.
It does, though, perhaps indicate that Militao and his Real teammates have been paying close attention to Liverpool’s recent form despite holding such a big advantage from the first leg.
Real themselves haven’t been in great form since the first leg, with their one win in four games arriving on Saturday.
In the three games before their win on Saturday, Carlo Ancelotti’s side scored one goal in three games.
Still, the Reds have a mountain to climb on Wednesday night and Militao expects his team to put in a professional display in order to finish off the job:
“Some people believe this tie is already finished but I am expecting a big night between two of the clubs with the biggest histories in world football.
“It’s certain that Real Madrid have a very big advantage but still, we must wait another 90 minutes and the round is not closed.”
If there is any side in European football capable of pulling off miracles it is Liverpool, so it is understandable that the defender is staying level-headed in the build-up.
The Reds have very little to lose on Wednesday night, in a competition which presents the only remaining chance of silverware this season.
Liverpool will train at Kirkby on Tuesday lunchtime before flying to Madrid.
Let’s pray for something spectacular!