Real Madrid and Liverpool will meet tonight (8pm WAT) at the Alfredo di Stéfano to play the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, Connectley News Reports.
The moment of truth has arrived in the UEFA Champions League, the time when the competition enters the quarter-final stage. There are only eight teams left alive in the tournament and they all have the same goal: to fight for a place in the semifinals and thus be among the four best European teams this season.
Today the quarter-final qualifiers begin, and in addition to Manchester City-Dortmund, they also face Real Madrid-Liverpool, recalling the 2018 Final.
Both Real Madrid and Liverpool solved the knockout round easily – Madrid with total goals of 4-1 over Atalanta and Liverpool with a 4-0 aggregate against Leipzig.
Real Madrid, in a great dynamic
Madrid team arrives at the meeting wrapped in a very positive dynamic. In the league competition, Zidane’s boys beat Eibar 2-0 this weekend and have a record of three wins and two draws in the last five games. In all of February and March they have not lost a game and are only two points away from Barca and three from Atletico de Madrid, who’s the current LaLiga leader.
According to information gathered by Connectley News, It is now, when Madrid have to show their potential, since this is going to be the most key week of the entire season – today they host Liverpool, on Saturday they play the El-Clasico against Barça in which a defeat would complicate the league, and next Tuesday, 14th, it is the turn for the returning leg.
Both teams have casualties for today’s duel. Real Madrid will not be able to count on Sergio Ramos, who returned injured from the national team break and therefore is the most outstanding.
In addition to Sergio Ramos, Hazard and Carvajal, who continue to recover from their long-term injuries, will also be unavailable.
Thus, the rear of central merengue will be formed by Varane and Nacho.
As for Liverpool, their star defender Virgil Van Dijk, who is still recovering from the torn cruciate ligament he suffered in October, will not be able to have minutes either. And the defenders Joe Gómez and Joel Matip are also low, so the English arrive in the Spanish capital with the defense made a frame, an aspect that the whites should take advantage of if they want to prevail in the game.
A highly anticipated performance in the duel is that of Marco Asensio, who is smiling again at Madrid and recovering his best level. Today is that day when stars like Benzema, Kroos or Modric must show their footballing quality.
Quite atypical season for Liverpool
Liverpool’s manager, Jurgen Klopp is having a much more discreet season than last year, so much that it is atypical.
Recall that last year the network sethe won his first league, doing so historically by scoring no more and no less than 99 points. In addition, he had 18 points ahead of the second position, which was Manchester City.
Well, this season the opposite is happening since Liverpool is ranked sixth in the Premier League table and despite it seems that it will not have problems to play the Champions League next year, this is quite a worrying fact.
Until a year ago, nobody managed to win a game at Anfield, while this season they have won, teams from the middle or lower part of the table such as Burnley, Brighton or Fulham, in addition to their eternal rival from the city, Everton.
Despite losing matches against weaker rivals and having a rather bad dynamic, Liverpool just defeated Arsenal this weekend 0-3. Thus, the fans of the English team insist that in today’s match Liverpool should play the same way as on Saturday. If the Klopp boys have the opportunity to dispute both the match and the tie against Madrid, this happens because their trident Mane-Salah-Firmino have a good performance, like Diogo Jota, who was called up with the Portuguese team and scored three goals in two games.
Interestingly, he did the same in the last two games for Liverpool, scoring two goals against Arsenal and one against Wolves.
This competition is the last hope for Klopp this season, since they have been disqualified from other competitions. So they are aware that this tie is also life or death for them, just like Real Madrid.
Both teams are aware of the importance of today’s duel, and this was reflected in the press conference held yesterday. Zinedine Zidane analyzed Liverpool and highlighted: “It is a very complete team. The three forwards are very good, but it’s a very solid team. Then, when it comes to playing as a team, it’s very good. There is no starting point. Then we know that the top three are good. They have an important effectiveness”.
Besides this, another relevant aspect is that he explained the good chemistry between his players: “All the players who are here know how to play. They have earned the right to play for this great club. Everyone understands Karim very well, and Karim the rest. It is what is happening in the field. There is a lot of chemistry”.
Finally, ‘Zizou’ praised Liverpool coach, Jurgen Klopp, to whom he dedicated these words: “He is a great coach, I look at all the coaches and I saw a lot of his things when I was doing the course”.
For his part, Klopp spoke about the situation his team is going through and the importance of today’s match for them: “It’s about getting everything possible this season. Other times we have had a better foundation. I thought we were not going to qualify for the Champions League. We have to chase Madrid, they are in a great moment, they know how to win the Champions League and they are a very good team”.
Likewise, he has not been able to avoid journalists’ questions in reference to the final that both teams played in Kiev, and in reference to this he said: “It is not a rematch, that’s life. We are going to try to win, but sometimes you have the emotion to the surface when it has not been long. Zidane and his boys know very well how everything works. We are in a good moment now ”.