The once-kings of Europe meet head to head for the second time this season, in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie. The Madrilenos carry a 3-1 advantage from the first leg, and will look to finish the job at Anfield, while the Reds are expected to make a push and overturn the two-goal deficit.
The English champions are coming into the game on the back of an emphatic 2-1 victory over Aston Villa, where signs of the Liverpool of last season could be seen and felt - in terms of both playing style and mentality. Coach Jurgen Klopp will look to motivate his players to give it their all and shoot for the win, as their chances of playing in the UCL seem thinner with each passing day. They’re on a three-game winning streak and currently find themselves in 6th position, three points from the places that lead into Europe.
The Spanish giants come into the tie with a comfortable lead from the previous leg, and a big morale boost - they’re in red-hot form (W8 D2 in all competitions), and they defeated arch-rivals Barcelona 2-1 just a fortnight ago. The Los Blancos are currently part of a three-horse race for the title in the Spanish league, with just two points separating the first and third place. Manager Zinedine Zidane will look to his players to put on another stellar display and get the job done and dusted.
Both teams are missing some key players, with Liverpool having to do without the services of stalwart Van Dijk, his partner Joe Gomez, and captain Jordan Henderson, while Zidane doesn’t have Carvajal, Hazard, captain Sergio Ramos, Varane, and Vazquez at his disposal for the trip to England.
But these are teams of class and tradition, so even if key players are missing from both sides we can still expect a cracker of a game, as winning the UCL can be the make-or-break of their season.