MX23RW : Monday, June 21 18:58:44| >> :120:18503:18503:
Apr 6, 2021 at 8pm UK at Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano
Real MadridReal Madrid
3-1
LiverpoolLiverpool
Junior (27', 65'), Asensio (36')
Vazquez (49')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Salah (51')
Mane (39'), Alcantara (56'), Alexander-Arnold (83')

Preview: Real Madrid vs. Liverpool - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Champions League clash between Real Madrid and Liverpool, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two of the most successful teams in the history of the European Cup will lock horns in the Spanish capital on Tuesday night as Real Madrid welcome Liverpool for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

Madrid, who are 13-time winners of the competition, will be looking to secure an advantage at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium ahead of the reverse fixture at Anfield on April 14.


Match preview

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their second goal against Eibar in La Liga on April 3, 2021© Reuters

Madrid are comfortably the most successful team in the history of the European Cup, winning the competition on 13 occasions, including four times in the last seven years, but they have been knocked out in the round of 16 in each of the last two years, losing to Ajax and Manchester City respectively.

Zinedine Zidane's side were not regarded as one of the favourites for this competition at the start of the season, but it is difficult to discount them considering their experience of winning at this level of football.

Los Blancos were not at their best in the group stages of this season's competition, winning just three of their six Group B fixtures, but they managed to claim 10 points to finish at the top of the section.

Talented Italian outfit Atalanta BC were their opponents in the round of 16, but it proved to be a relatively routine tie for Zidane's team, who recorded a 1-0 victory away from home in the first leg before winning 3-1 in the Spanish capital to progress to the final eight of the competition courtesy of a 4-1 aggregate scoreline.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema celebrates scoring their first goal against Atalanta in the Champions League on March 16, 2021© Reuters

Madrid have had their problems this season, but they have won nine of their last 11 matches in all competitions, including a 2-0 success over Eibar on Saturday afternoon, which moved them to within three points of La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid, who are in action against Sevilla on Sunday night.

It is a huge period of the season for Zidane's side considering that they will welcome Barcelona in the league next weekend before travelling to Anfield for the second leg of their European Cup quarter-final on April 14.

Los Blancos beat Liverpool 3-1 in the final of the 2017-18 competition, while they also overcame the English giants home and away in the group stages of the 2014-15 tournament; the Reds did win in Madrid back in 2009, though, with Yossi Benayoun scoring to hand the visitors a 1-0 success in the round of 16.

Madrid have won eight and lost five of their previous 13 two-legged knockout ties with English clubs and had been victorious in three in a row before the loss to Man City last season; the Spanish giants will be full of confidence entering Tuesday's clash, but there is no question that they will be wary of a Liverpool team seemingly revitalised after a difficult period in the early stages of the year.

Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates scoring against Arsenal in the Premier League on April 3, 2021© Reuters

Liverpool put in one of their finest performances of the season away to Arsenal on Saturday evening, with Diogo Jota scoring twice in a 3-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium. The result moved the Reds into fifth position, just two points off the top four, and they appear to be back on track, posting three straight wins in all competitions.

Jurgen Klopp's side lost at home to Atalanta in the group stages of this season's Champions League but still managed to top the section, picking up 13 points from their six matches against Atalanta, Ajax and FC Midtjylland.

Like Madrid, the English giants were drawn against dangerous opposition in the round of 16, but it was a similar story to Zidane's side, with the Reds beating RB Leipzig 2-0 home and away to comfortably progress to the final eight of Europe's leading competition.

There is no question that it has been a disappointing season for the Merseyside outfit, having been unable to launch a defence of their Premier League title, but claiming a top-four spot and winning the Champions League would certainly go down as a successful campaign.

Diogo Jota celebrates scoring for Liverpool against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on March 15, 2021© Reuters

Liverpool have actually won 15 of their last 23 European fixtures but have only been victorious in two of their last 12 matches against Spanish opposition, suffering eight defeats in the process.

Only Real Madrid (13) and AC Milan (seven) have won more European Cups than the Reds, who are level with Bayern Munich on six, just above Barcelona, who have lifted the trophy on five occasions.

Klopp's side met Atletico Madrid in the last-16 stage of the 2019-20 Champions League and suffered a 4-2 aggregate defeat, losing 1-0 in Madrid before going down 3-2 at Anfield in the second leg one month later.

The visitors were short of confidence when they lost 1-0 at home to Fulham on March 7, but they have been in impressive form either side of the international break, and the performance at Arsenal on Saturday was the perfect preparation for a trip to the Spanish capital.

Real Madrid Champions League form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Real Madrid form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Liverpool Champions League form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Liverpool form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W



Team News

Sergio Ramos in action for Real Madrid on December 12, 2020© Reuters

Madrid will be without the services of inspirational captain Sergio Ramos on Tuesday due to a calf problem, while the match has also come too soon for both Eden Hazard and Dani Carvajal.

The home side have also been hit with the news that Raphael Varane has tested positive for coronavirus, meaning that Ferland Mendy could start as a third centre-back alongside Nacho and Eder Militao, with Marcelo operating on the left.

Toni Kroos and Vinicius Junior are also expected to start, having been on the bench against Eibar at the weekend, with Zidane likely to set his side up in a 3-5-2 formation.

As for Liverpool, Klopp will largely have the same squad available from the Arsenal match, with Jordan Henderson, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk all definitely out.

There is a chance that Caoimhin Kelleher and Divock Origi could return to the bench on Tuesday, while Georginio Wijnaldum might replace James Milner in the middle of the park.

Jota came off the bench to score twice against Arsenal, meaning that Klopp has a big decision to make in the final third of the field, but it would not be a surprise to see the Portugal international start on the bench once again, with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino lining up as the front three.

Real Madrid possible starting lineup:
Courtois; Nacho, Militao, Mendy; Vazquez, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Marcelo; Vinicius, Benzema

Liverpool possible starting lineup:
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson; Thiago, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane


Head To Head

These two teams have locked horns on six previous occasions in European football, and the head-to-head record is identical, with both sides winning three and losing three.

Madrid recorded a 3-1 victory when they last met in the 2018 Champions League final, and Los Blancos also posted two wins in the group stages of the 2014-15 competition.

Liverpool won both of their meetings in the 2008-09 round of 16, though, while the English giants also recorded a 1-0 victory in the final of the European Champions Clubs' Cup in 1981, with Alan Kennedy scoring the only goal of the contest nine minutes from time.


SM words green background

We say: Real Madrid 1-1 Liverpool

Liverpool's form has improved, and the Reds appear to be heading in the right direction once again. Madrid have also been finding their groove, though, and we are not comfortable backing the home side to lose. It should be a very interesting game in the Spanish capital, and we have ultimately settled on a 1-1 draw, which would leave the tie delicately poised ahead of the return fixture at Anfield on April 14.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data


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How you voted: Real Madrid vs Liverpool

Real Madrid
43.7%
Draw
13.6%
Liverpool
42.8%
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Real Madrid's Dani Carvajal in action in December 2020
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