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European rivals meet again

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Liverpool vs Real Madrid preview

They meet again! Liverpool vs Real Madrid has become a thing in the last couple of seasons. Both these sides have constantly met each other at some or the other stage of the Champions League tournament. Two of those fixtures have been the showpiece event – The UCL Finals, where Los Blancos have come out on top in both those fixtures.

It seems like the Champions League is incomplete if these 2 teams don’t match up against each other. Taking a look at the bigger picture, since 2014, the two European giants have met on 6 occasions. The Reds surprisingly have lost 5 of those 6 fixtures and salvaging a draw. The 2022/23 Round of 16 tie between the two clubs will be their 7th encounter since 2014 and Jurgen Klopp and his men will be hopeful of getting past their bogey team this time around.

Speaking of Liverpool’s form, Klopp’s men haven’t been anywhere near the form that almost won the quadruple last season. They might have had somewhat of a resurgence after winning their last two league games, but beating this Madrid team will take more than that. The Reds currently sit in 8th place and did not have the most convincing of UCL group stage performances finishing 2nd behind Napoli.

Ancelotti’s men on the other side have been inconsistent themselves this term, albeit not so much as their upcoming opponents. The capital-based club won the league and UCL double last term, but have failed to replicate that form this season. Los Blancos sit 2nd in La Liga – 5 points behind rival Barcelona.

The upcoming match will be a true test of both these sets of players’ characters and could have a season-defining effect on their respective campaigns.

 

Liverpool vs Real Madrid – Team news

The biggest miss for Real Madrid in recent weeks has been the 2022 Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema. His availability is once again in doubt for this fixture, and might not make an appearance against Liverpool. Other players to miss the big game are Toni Kroos and Ferland Mendy. Barring these, Ancelotti has a fully fit squad to pick from.

Predicted Real Madrid lineup: Courtois, Nacho, Rudiger, Militao, Alaba, Modric, Camavinga, Ceballos, Vinicius, Rodrygo, Valverde

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Liverpool on the other hand are filled with injury crisis. Some of their stars have returned to training although they are far from starting against the reigning European Champions. On-loan midfielder Arthur will sit this one out along with Konate, Luis Diaz and Thiago.

Predicted Liverpool lineup: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson, Fabinho, Bajcetic, Elliot, Nunez, Gakpo, Salah

Liverpool vs Real Madrid – Key players

Trent & Robertson – Liverpool

It is going to be Liverpool’s full-back pairing that Klopp is going to entrust the most going into this fixture. This is mainly because of the sheer threat Real Madrid’s in-form wingers carry right now in the form of Vinicius Jr and Valverde.

Both Trent and Robertson will also be tasked with the responsibility of creating attacks on their respective flanks and will have to do so keeping in mind the threat of their opposition.

Luka Modric – Real Madrid

With Benzema almost certain to miss the encounter, it is another former Ballon d’Or winner who is going to be key for Los Blancos. Modric has been pulling the string recently and as he has shown before, age won’t be an issue for him even on the biggest of stages. He is a big game player and it doesn’t get any bigger than this. Expect him to run the show in midfield.

 

Liverpool vs Real Madrid prediction

Liverpool and Klopp have gained some momentum with their last 2 wins in the League, although facing Real Madrid this early in the knockout game is different gravy. Real Madrid themselves will have to be on their best if they are to get anything out of this game, especially knowing that Anfield won’t be welcoming.

It is certainly the clash of the titans and as they have shown fans in the past, this could be a tight affair. FootTheBall predicts Liverpool 1-1 Real Madrid.

 

Arnold Lewis
A hardcore Chelsea fan, who is often found playing football on the weekends. He has an exceptional voice and his rendition of old Hindi classic songs will make your heart melt. He is the man with the funky hair.

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