Liverpool visit the Santiago Bernabeu tonight for their group B clash with reigning champions Real Madrid. The two teams come into the game with completely different runs of form, Real Madrid come into the game on the back of a 4-0 win at Granada and with a 3-1 victory in El Classico and a 3-0 win at Anfield both fresh in the memory, they will no doubt start this match full of confidence.
Liverpool on the other hand have not been as impressive, despite a 2-1 win a week ago against Swansea, Liverpool fell to their fourth defeat of the Premier League season against Newcastle in another dismal performance from Brendan Rodgers’ side.
As if the task was not already hard enough for Liverpool, Cristiano Ronaldo is in the form of his life and Gareth Bale, no stranger to Liverpool of course, is back fit and available for selection.
Luckily for Liverpool tonight’s game will have no real baring on their qualification chances as a win in their final two games will see them progress regardless of tonight’s result.
Having beaten Liverpool 3-0 in Anfield, Madrid will be hoping to have similar joy at home and based on the team sheets they will fully expect to come away with a victory and secure their place in the knockout stages.
With Liverpool’s defence struggling, it is unlikely coming up against Ronaldo, Isco, Benzema and Rodriguez will be any different and you can expect the Liverpool back line to be under serious pressure for the full ninety and with the ever unreliable Kolo Toure starting it could be a tough night for Liverpool.
Lallana and Markovic will need big performances if Liverpool are to have any chance of getting even a draw in this one. Rodgers’ decision to leave Gerrard, Balotelli, Sterling and Henderson on the bench is understandable with Chelsea coming to visit at the weekend but should they get hammered tonight questions will be asked whether it was the right decision.
Looking at the Liverpool starting XI, Real Madrid will smell blood and Cristiano Ronaldo will see this as a great opportunity to add to his already impressive tally. I can see Liverpool putting up some sort of fight but inevitably this Real Madrid side will prove too strong for an under-strength Liverpool side.
Prediction: Real Madrid 4-1 Liverpool
Real Madrid: Casillas; Arbeloa, Varane, Ramos, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos; Rodriquez, Isco, Ronaldo; Benzema
Liverpool: Mignolet; Manquillo, Toure, Skrtel, Moreno; Lucas, Can, Allen, Lallana; Markovic, Borini