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Will Liverpool lose the first leg on Tuesday thanks to a Zidane masterclass?

Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid
Zinedine Zidane Real Madrid

Real Madrid will take on Liverpool in the Champions League quarter-final and the first leg will be played in Spain this midweek.

The Los Blancos faced Liverpool in the Champions League final in 2018 and back then, the La Liga side totally outclassed Klopp’s team. And some pundits think a repeat of the same might happen on Tuesday.

Mo Salah recently told MARCA that Liverpool have improved since that loss and while Nacho does agree with this but he’s also gone on to add that Zidane might have a few tactical surprises up his sleeve.

Nacho said, as quoted: “Salah wasn’t wrong. Since then, they’ve won the Champions League and we’ve lost Cristiano Ronaldo. But, I don’t think there’s such a big difference. I think we’ve always been a very competitive team.

“We have a great squad. Salah has a point, but we’re not focusing on things like that and we’re instead focusing on the match tomorrow.

“I think we are performing well whether we play a back four or a back five. We’re ready for what the coach asks. We’re in a good run. Whatever system we’re asked to use, it’s important to respond on the pitch.

“It doesn’t matter what system we use, we need to give our all on the pitch and secure a good result in this first leg. They have three great forwards, who connect well. I don’t know about there being favourites. We’ll leave that debate for others.”

Unlike other managers, the Real Madrid boss does not hesitate to use different systems every alternate week and while a 4-3-3 formation is the preferred choice for Zidane, the manager has been using a 3-4-2-1 system in his past couple of matches.

Against Eibar and Elche the manager chose a three-man defensive line along with two wing-backs while in their previous Champions League game vs Atalanta, Real Madrid set up in a 3-5-2 formation. But given the gravitas of this game, we expect Zidane to revert back to a 4-3-3 formation on Tuesday.

With Sergio Ramos ruled out, Nacho and Varane are likely to pair up in central defence with Mendy and Vazquez operating as the two full-backs.

Real Madrid formation

Read: Zidane urges his players not to focus on only one aspect of Liverpool’s game.

Read: Here’s how Real Madrid are expected to line up vs Liverpool.

Read: Will this team hit peak form at the perfect time & finish in the top-four?

Read: 4-3-3 Liverpool’s predicted line-up vs Real Madrid.

Read: Klopp explains his uncanny substitution for Liverpool against Arsenal.