Football

UCL Preview: Real Madrid hoping to stop another Anfield Miracle

Fans of European football know how difficult it is to beat Liverpool at Anfield so they understand the task that lies ahead of Zinedine Zidane and his Real Madrid team as they hope to build on a 3-1 first leg win to progess to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

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Liverpool fans have witnessed some remarkable turnarounds and incredible evenings of Champions League action in recent seasons. The Reds turned a first-leg 3-0 defeat against Barcelona around to reach the 2019 final which they went on to win.

Liverpool v Real Madrid: Champions League quarter-final second leg - BBC  Sport

However, Liverpool are not in remarkable form and the fans are not allowed to be at Anfield due to coronavirus restriction in the UK. It seems unlikely that another Anfield miracle is on the cards tonight.

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Liverpool were outplayed and outclassed at the Alfredo Di Stefano stadium. In fact, the Premier League Champions should feel lucky that the game ended 3-1. If Real Madrid were more clinical, they could have embarrassed Jurgen Klopp’s side even more.

For Liverpool, the second leg at Anfield is undoubtedly their biggest game of the season. Their league title defence has not gone smoothly at all, as things stand, they may not qualify for next season’s Champions League. The Reds are already out of other domestic cups and the Champions League remains their only option for silverware this season.

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While Liverpool are wallowing in poor form, their opponents tonight will travel to England brimming with confidence. Zidane’s men are currently on an impressive run of 11 wins and two draws from their last 13 assignments including victories over Liverpool and Barcelona. This run has seen them climb to the top of the La Liga table with one foot in the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

This is more impressive as Los Blancos have been plagued with a lot of injuries this season. Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane, and Eden Hazard did not miss the first leg against Liverpool and the El Clasico where German pass-master Toni Kroos was once again the star of the show.

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Liverpool’s defensive injury problems have been well-publicized, and stand-ins Nathanial Phillips and Ozan Kabak are likely to retain their spot in the centre back positions tonight. Real Madrid have defensive problems of their own to consider but they showed in their win over Liverpool in Spain that they can cope better than the Premier League champions.

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Liverpool have enough firepower and quality in attack to create chances against Real on Wednesday. However, their poor defending is likely to undo any good work produced further up the pitch.

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The Premier League champions will need to keep a clean sheet to stand a chance of getting back into the tie. However, they have shut out visitors to Anfield just twice in their last 11 attempts in all competitions.

Betting Tip

Liverpool’s desperate attack and poor defence sound like a perfect formula for goals, both teams to score and over 2.5 seems to be the best option to bet on.

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