After a series of poor results, Liverpool have finally gotten back to winning ways and next up, they will have to face Real Madrid in the Champions League.
The Reds beat Newcastle United at the weekend and now in midweek, they will welcome Madrid for the 1st leg of the Round of 16. Liverpool are unbeaten in their previous five home games but the Los Blancos haven’t lost to Liverpool in their last 6 meetings.
Both these teams faced off against each other in last season’s final and it was Madrid who lifted the trophy thanks to a 1-0 win. This time around, Liverpool will have revenge on their mind but the Premier League side will have to tread really carefully because they have been very average this season.
The home side have won just two out of their last five games across all competitions whereas Real Madrid have won four of their previous five matches. Jurgen Klopp will have to be really careful with his team selection because the La Liga side won’t care if they are playing at home or at Anfield. The Spanish league is slowly going out of Madrid’s hands so the UCL is now the main focus for Carlo Ancelotti.
Liverpool’s team news and injuries:
Klopp still has a pretty large injury list with key players like Luis Diaz, Konate and Thiago are all ruled out with injuries.
Ibrahima Konate is slowly nearing full fitness but Thiago and Diaz will only be back in action sometime in March.
Speaking about Thiago Alcantara’s injury, the manager had updated: ‘Obviously, the Thiago situation is not cool for us; he’ll be out for a while with a hip problem.’
18-year-old Bajcetic has been playing in midfield in the previous few matches but we don’t think the manager will risk using him against a team like Real Madrid. Klopp is more likely to use Harvey Elliott alongside Fabinho and Henderson because he is a much more experienced player.
Van Dijk has made a comeback at the best possible time for Liverpool and he will hold the fort in central defence alongside Joe Gomez.
Darwin Nunez found the back of the net against Newcastle United but he had to be taken off in the 59th minute with a shoulder injury. The forward is a major doubt for the first leg but thankfully both Firmino and Jota have returned to full fitness and will be available for selection.
Liverpool predicted line up vs Real Madrid:
Predicted Starting XI(4-3-3): Alisson; Van Dijk, Gomez, TAA, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Elliott/Bajcetic; Gakpo, Firmino, Mo Salah.