Match: Liverpool VS Real Madrid
Competition: UEFA Champions League [Group Stages]
Time: October 22, 2014 – 9:45 PM (KSA)
As Real Madrid prepare to visit Liverpool for the first time since the 2008/2009 season, they will surely keep in mind what happened at Anfield the last time they were there. A 4-0 win by Liverpool on the night brought shock to the Men in White as they went home with their heads down. That tie ended 5-0 on aggregate as Liverpool didn’t back down at the Santiago Bernabeu. Now, everything is different and Los Merengues make their way to England with a mission in mind. Let’s take a look at both teams as they prepare to play against each other tomorrow night.
Liverpool have finally brought themselves back to be a part of the European elite after securing a place in the UEFA Champions League last season. Being placed alongside FC Basel, Ludogorets, and Real Madrid probably isn’t what they were hoping for but they are more than willing to use this group in order to prove to themselves that they are good enough to be here while beating a team such as Real Madrid will surely make a worldwide statement.
During their first two games of the Champions League so far, things did not fully go as planned for the Premier League team. Their first game was against Ludogorets at Anfield and it seems as though the situation of finally being back in Europe may have been a little too much for them to handle. Liverpool were able to come out with a 2-1 win but it took a late Steven Gerrard penalty to secure the win. As for their second game, it was FC Basel in Switzerland as Liverpool simply weren’t able to find the back of the net as they came out with a shocking 1-0 loss.
Now, they prepare for Real Madrid at Anfield and look to certainly make a statement of their intentions against the holders of the UEFA Champions League. They know it will be extremely difficult yet they also know that they have the necessary power to make it happen. The slight problem arises when looking at their squad and realizing that a majority of them, though they have proven to be great players, don’t have much experience in the Champions League. With that said, they still shouldn’t be underestimated whatsoever.
Liverpool’s Past 5 Games –
Queens Park Rangers 2-3 Liverpool [Premier League]
Liverpool 2-1 West Bromwich [Premier League]
FC Basel 1-0 Liverpool [UEFA Champions League]
Liverpool 1-1 Everton [Premier League]
West Ham 3-1 Liverpool [Premier League]
Though they may not have been extremely convincing during their last few games, Liverpool have usually been able to scrape out a win in the end. The main problem at the moment is their defending as it seems as though there is simply no trust or coordination between them. This was extremely evident during their last game against QPR as they were extremely fortunate to leave with all three points. With a defense such as that one, they will not be able to handle a fierce Real Madrid attack and Steven Gerrard was one to point that out after the QPR game.
As we all know way too well, football is an extremely unpredictable sport and it’s very difficult to compare league football to the European competition. Liverpool will come out in front of their own fans in order to prove a point and show the world how good they can really be. A win against Real Madrid will drastically boost their self-esteem for the upcoming weeks and that is exactly what they need right now.
My Predicted Liverpool Lineup –
Simon Mignolet, Javier Manquillo, Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren, Alberto Moreno, Jordan Henderson, Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana, Coutinho, Mario Balotelli
With Daniel Sturridge injured for another few weeks, Liverpool will have Mario Balotelli to replace him. The Italian attacker has a lot to prove after some very ‘below-average’ performances and there is no better time to show your worth than in the UEFA Champions League against Real Madrid.
Real Madrid CF:
Real Madrid come into this game as top of the group with six points as they look to find some sort of revenge after the 4-0 loss a few years back. Of course, this team is a lot different to the team that visited Anfield in 2009 but they will still be going there to prove a point. Liverpool are unquestionably the strongest team in the group and Anfield has never been an easy place to visit.
Real Madrid’s first two games of the UEFA Champions League is a little bit difficult to evaluate, really. Their first game was at the Santiago Bernabeu against FC Basel in which they were able to come out extremely strong and make a very early statement in the competition. They came out with a convincing 5-1 win as Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and James Rodriguez got their names on the scoresheet. As for the second game, they visited Bulgaria to play against Ludogorets and it did not fully go as expected. Not only were Los Blancos expected to win but they were also expected to come out with a large margin, so a 2-1 win (after being down 1-0 early in the game) wasn’t the best of scenarios. A Cristiano Ronaldo goal and a late Karim Benzema winner were enough to achieve the three points but the overall performance was worrying, to say the least.
Now, Real Madrid prepare to play against Liverpool as they have the opportunity to increase the margin to six points between both teams. With that said, they will certainly have an eye on the Clasico against Barcelona on Saturday night and therefore, anyone expecting to see a fully functional Real Madrid side may be slightly disappointed. The recent talk from the fans have barely been about the UEFA Champions League match but rather about Barcelona and that could prove to be quite costly tomorrow night.
Real Madrid’s Past 5 Games –
Levante 0-5 Real Madrid [La Liga]
Real Madrid 5-0 Athletic Bilbao [La Liga]
Ludogorets 1-2 Real Madrid [UEFA Champions League]
Villarreal 0-2 Real Madrid [La Liga]
Real Madrid 5-1 Elche [La Liga]
Real Madrid have been quite convincing during their past couple games with 10 goals scored in two games. Also, they have been able to come out with some very convincing wins recently and that will keep the Los Merengues fans feeling quite confident. With that said, they will also have to focus on keeping their defense strong as threats from players such as Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli may prove to be costly.
My Predicted Real Madrid Lineup –
Iker Casillas, Alvaro Arbeloa, Pepe, Raphael Varane, Marcelo, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, James Rodriguez, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema
Real Madrid have a couple injuries to worry about with Gareth Bale and Sergio Ramos as I’m not expecting anyone to be risked tomorrow night with the Clasico coming up. With that said, the replacements are more than capable of doing the job as Carlo Ancelotti will have a strong team to field tomorrow night.
One thing will be guaranteed tomorrow night: It will be a very interesting fixture. Liverpool and Real Madrid come into this game with different points to prove as they both aim for the three points. The UEFA Champions League never fails to impress and no one should expect that to change this time.
Liverpool VS Real Madrid has its own story written in the history books and tomorrow night, an addition will be certain. What will the addition be? We will have to wait to find out.