Dubai: Liverpool will face Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at the Bernabeu stadium needing a miracle to prolong their European journey.
Jurgen Klopp’s side suffered a crushing 5-2 defeat to the Spanish giants at Anfield in the first leg. But the Reds know they have a chance as Carlo Anceloti’s side have been inconsistent on the domestic front.
Liverpool will hope to capitalize on this and attempt an astonishing comeback. Real are nine points adrift of leaders Barcelona in La Liga and know the Champions League is a more realistic target. They will aim to win their fourth title in six years however they will not take anything for granted against Liverpool who recently humiliated Manchester United 7-0.
Liverpool have a history of spectacular European comebacks, notably coming from 3-0 down to defeat Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate in 2018-19.
However, they will face a daunting challenge at the Bernabeu, where they have not won in their last seven encounters with Real.
In addition, Liverpool have only managed two away wins in eight games on the road in 2023, highlighting their poor away form. They also face several injury concerns, with Luis Diaz, Thiago Alcantara, Calvin Ramsay, and Joe Gomez all absent, while Naby Keita is doubtful due to a knock.
Real will likely to welcome back Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema while Ferland Mendy is also expected to return after recovering from a thigh issue, although David Alaba is set to sit out due to a thigh injury sustained in the first leg. Antonio Rudiger may also be brought in, with Nacho Fernandez shifting to a wide role.
Klopp may consider a more ambitious 4-2-3-1 setup, with Diogo Jota potentially replacing Harvey Elliott as the coach tries to get his side back in the tie but with a three goal advantage, Real are the favourites to advance to the quarter-finals.