The meeting between Merengues and Reds has revenge overtones after starring in two dramatic endings
Real Madrid and Liverpool star in a duel of giants, the one that faces the winners of 19 European Cups with a rematch pending, that of the final in Kiev that closed a legendary white cycle with Zinedine Zidane, who seeks to return his team to the top with a squad of inferior quality.
It is the most difficult challenge of Zidane. Relocate to Real Madrid instead of privilege with a team lacking in great offensive references since Cristiano Ronaldo left after the last precedent against him Liverpool. That end full of vertigo of the UEFA Champions League of 2017/18, made the Madrid team the only team to win three consecutive editions since the change in format. The arrival to the top of the Liverpool from Jürgen Klopp, which months later would end up achieving its sixth wound.
Real Madrid took the victory in their most recent encounter against Liverpool in the Champions League. Getty Images
Specialist Zidane in European qualifiers, after winning twelve in a row (nine crosses and three finals), the victory against Atalanta in the Round of 16 allowed the Real Madrid overcome a round of the Champions League two years and eleven months later to return to be among the eight best teams in Europe. After passing the Eighths barrier in which he ran aground for two years, the Liverpool appears as a great obstacle in their way, with a hypothetical semifinal of less demand, on paper, against Porto or Chelsea.
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But no one in the Real Madrid look beyond Liverpool. An appointment to which he arrives at the moment of greatest confidence in a season full of ups and downs, in which on more than one occasion his options in the League and Champions, and at present it is already only three points behind the league leadership and is the only Spanish representative in the most prestigious club competition.
A streak of eleven games without losing, the sweet moment of Thibaut Courtois, the performance of Nacho linking eleven titles established as the replacement of Sergio Ramos, a midfield difficult to match for any candidate for the title and that is history formed by Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, Marco Asensio’s takeoff and Karim Benzema’s record-breaking punch with nine goals in his last seven games. These are the arguments for Madrid’s hope in a decisive week with a classic in between.
Consultation here all the news and results of the UEFA Champions League.
Casualties of Zidane affect the defensive line and that is why it took a tactical turn with the introduction of three centrals. From test to reality. Formula to protect themselves in big games and make up for the absences of Dani Carvajal and Sergio Ramos. With the physique of Lucas Vázquez and Ferland Mendy on the wings, which is emerging again in the left lane despite Marcelo’s improvement, with the return of Raphaël Varane to the center of the rear. With Fede Valverde recently recovered from a muscle injury and the absence of Eden Hazard while improving his physique, the doubt to clear in attack between Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Marco Asensio, points out that he will fall on the side of the Spanish after responding with character to the substitution . Three matches scoring have given the Real Madrid the goal that was missing beyond the one provided by Benzema.
They were all bad faces in Liverpool until this Saturday, but the victory against Arsenal by a resounding 0-3 has lifted the spirits of the team. From being squandered in the English Premier League, with almost no chances of breaking into the top four, they are now just two points away. Oddly enough, the win marks his best moment of the season. Not so much because of the level of play deployed, which still leaves some gaps, but because finally Jürgen Klopp you know who your starting team is.
Liverpool won the first game against Real Madrid in a European Cup Final. Getty Images
After months racking his brains on which centrals can supply Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip with guarantees, the German has finally hit the mark. Ozan Kabak and Nathaniel Phillips will be chosen to command the defense of the ‘Reds’ this Tuesday. The Turk, arrived in the winter market, has settled in the eleven despite a hesitant debut, in which even his teammates avoided giving him the ball. In recent games he has regained confidence and alongside Phillips, powerful in the passing game, he has caused Klopp experiments with players out of position will be stopped.
They will be well flanked by Andy Robertson on the left and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right. The Scotsman is fireproof, while the Englishman arrives full after giving an assist against Arsenal. The formula of the two centrals has allowed Fabinho, an emergency defender between October and March, to have been able to return to the center of the field, providing solidity and forcefulness for Thiago Alcántara to shine again. Klopp He gave minutes to James Milner against Arsenal, but the third piece of that medium will be the Dutch Georginio Wijnaldum.
Up there will be two undisputed such as Mohamed Salah (18 goals in the Premier) and Sadio Mané, and the third in contention is the great doubt of Klopp. Roberto Firmino is his best partner, the one who best combines of them, but he comes out of injury and was not especially brilliant in the last game. The other possibility is Diogo Jota, the ace up the sleeve of Klopp. Injured for a good part of the season, he has been one of the most positive of the Liverpool this year and its strength as a booster is a guarantee. He scored three goals in the international window with Portugal and two against Arsenal. Their role can be fundamental for the future of the tie.
Real Madrid: Courtois; Varane, Nacho, Militao; Lucas Vázquez, Casemiro, Modric, Kroos, Mendy; Marco Asensio y Benzema.
Liverpool: Alisson; Robertson, Kabak, Phillips, Alexander-Arnold; Thiago, Wijnaldum, Fabinho; Salah, Jota Firmino y Mané.
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7116