Real Madrid and Liverpool face each other at the European stage for the 6th time. Both teams have won the 3 matches each. The last time the 2 UCL giants met was in the 2018 final where Los Merengues cruised past Liverpool to win the title.
Both the teams have been inconsistent this season having had more than their share of injuries. Real Madrid are 3rd on the La Liga table while Liverpool find themselves 7th in the Premier League.
Real Madrid were favourites when the match was initially drawn but an injury to Captain and lead defender Sergio Ramos while on international duty has bought things on level terms. Both the clubs will be without their star defenders Ramos and Van Dijk.
Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Jordon Henderson are other key players missing for the Merseyside team. On the other hand, Dani Carvajal is a long term absentee for the Los Blancos while Winger Eden Hazard is not match fit but is expected to back for the return leg at Anfield.
Zinedine Zidane has been playing Madrid in a 3-5-2 formation recently and is expected to do the same. Liverpool started their last game against Arsenal in a 4-3-3 formation but they scored the first goal after the introduction of Diogo Jota and a change in formation. Jurgen Klopp has to decide whether to go with a 4-3-3 and bench one of Salah, Mane, Firmino and Jota or play all 4 in a 4-2-3-1 formation
The tie is expected to be even as both teams won their weekend matches comfortably. Real Madrid are slight favourites because of their Midfield prowess. Kroos, Casemiro and Modric have been in sensational form in midfield for the Spanish side this season. Mohammed Salah scored against Arsenal after a 5-match goal drought in the Premier League which is incredible news for the Koppites. It will be very key for Klopp's men to get an away goal in the first leg as an assurance to better their chances to make it to the Semi-Finals. Lastly, a 2-1 home victory for Real Madrid is a safe bet and a very likely outcome.
Also Read | Will Manchester City win the quadruple?