Liverpool vs Real Madrid | Champions League Preview

Liverpool vs Real Madrid | Champions League Preview

This week will feature match-day three of this year’s Champions League group stage, with the main focus on a heavyweight clash between five times winners Liverpool, against current holders and 10 times winners Real Madrid. The contest will be the talk of the town this week with Anfield ready for another one of their famous European nights in front of a sell out crowd. Both teams have experienced brimming success in the competition within its history and are the two favourites to qualify from the group, but that’s always easier said than done.

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Liverpool go into the game in third place in the group having lost away to Basel on match-day two. A bitterly disappointing goal was capped off with a defeat via a Marco Streller strike to leave the group wide open. The Reds would’ve been hoping to come out of that contest with at least a draw but will have to qualify the hard way even after their dramatic win against Ludogorets in the opening game of the group. Domestically, Liverpool sit fifth in the league and go into the match on the back of an extraordinary win against QPR, scoring twice in stoppage time to eventually win 3-2 but a victory of any sort will do for  Brendan Rodgers’s men on Wednesday,

Madrid’s form seems to be irresistible at moment, having scored 32 goals in their last seven games in domestic and European competition including wins by 8-2, 5-0, 5-0, 5-1 and 5-1 score lines. They sit in pole position in Group B after wins against Basel and Ludogorets in their opening two fixtures and have won their last seven fixtures in all competitions. Levante was the latest team to suffer the wrath of Carlo Ancelotti’s men as Madrid ran riot with a 5-0 victory, Ronaldo netting twice.

Team News

Liverpool

Liverpool will be rueing their luck after losing Daniel Sturridge again to injury just as he recovered from his previous knock. Another month without the 25-year-old means that it will again be likely to be Mario Balotelli playing as the lone striker. Sakho, Suso and Flanagan are also set to miss out

Real Madrid

Madrid superstar Gareth Bale is a doubt for the clash at Anfield after missing the 5-0 against Levante due to a pulled glute. That will be a huge blow for Ancelotti’s side but will be able to recall Sergio Ramos from injury. Karim Benzema is also set to miss out having injured his toe whilst on international duty.

Possible Teams

match

Interesting Facts

  • Real Madrid have never scored against Liverpool
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals than the whole Liverpool team this season
  • Steven Gerrard scored twice the last time these two teams met in a 4-0 win for Liverpool.

Form Guide

Liverpool

PL                   Sun 19 Oct    QPR               2 – 3   Liverpool        W

PL                   Sat 4 Oct        Liverpool        2 – 1   West Brom     W

UCL                Wed 1 Oct      FC Basel       1 – 0   Liverpool        L

PL                   Sat 27 Sep    Liverpool        1 – 1   Everton          D

League Cup  Tue 23 Sep   Liverpool        2 – 2   M’boro            W

Real Madrid

PRD               Sat 18 Oct      Levante          0 – 5   Real Madrid

PRD               Sun 5 Oct      Real Madrid  5 – 0   Athletic Club

UCL                Wed 1 Oct      Ludogorets    1 – 2   Real Madrid

PRD               Sat 27 Sep    Villarreal        0 – 2   Real Madrid

PRD               Tue 23 Sep   Real Madrid  5 – 1   Elche

Head to Heads

2008/2009     Liverpool        4 – 0   Real Madrid  CL Last 16 2nd Leg

2008/2009     Real Madrid  0 – 1   Liverpool        CL Last 16 1st Leg

1980/1981     Liverpool        1 – 0   Real Madrid EC Final

Key Players

Liverpool: Raheem Sterling

Sterling has been Liverpool’s star player this term and has had to step up to the plate after the departure of Suarez and the injury to Sturridge. He has three goals to his name already this season and has three assists from the 21 chances created in eight games so far. In the Champions League however, he has yet to make an impact in any of the two opening group games, with no chances created but will want to make an impact against the European Champions at Anfield.

Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo

The world’s best player Ronaldo has again started the season like a house on fire. The Portuguese forward has actually scored more league goals than Liverpool as a team so far with an incredible 15 goals in just seven games. This has been the level set by the Madrid superstar over the past couple of years and has also two goals in the Champions League so far with one assist too. As a former Man Utd player, he will relish the chance to play against his old rivals once again.

My Prediction

Most people will be punting for a Madrid win having hit a purple patch in form. I however, expect Liverpool to be dogged and resilient and upset one or two Madrid players with their counter attacking style.

Liverpool 2-2 Real Madrid