UEFA Champions League Quarter-finals first-leg preview: Real Madrid vs Liverpool (Tue - 21:00h. CET; 20:00h. GMT) - Team news, possible lineups
Real Madrid host Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday 6 April at 21:00 CET.
What's the story?
Two of the European Cup's most successful clubs meet in a repeat of the 2018 final. Madrid won that one before Liverpool went one better 12 months later; neither side has been going great guns in 2020/21, particularly the Reds, but both have a habit of pulling a top performance out of the bag, particularly in this competition. Madrid will have to do it without the injured Sergio Ramos, though.
Latest: Real Madrid 2-0 Eibar, 03/04
Where they stand: 3rd in Liga
Latest: Arsenal 0-3 Liverpool, 03/04
Where they stand: 7th in Premier League
Real Madrid: Courtois; Nacho, Militão, Mendy; Vázquez, Modrić, Casemiro, Kroos, Marcelo; Benzema, Vinícius
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson; Thiago, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Jota, Mané
Joe Walker, Madrid reporter: First, the elephant in the room: Madrid are without Sergio Ramos, and in the last two seasons that has meant elimination. To compensate, they themselves need to target Liverpool's rookie centre-back duo, while Karim Benzema ought to thrive with the extra responsibility on his shoulders in Ramos's absence. That said, winning the battle in midfield and stemming the Reds' counters could prove pivotal.
Simon Hart, Liverpool reporter: Liverpool have won seven of their last eight matches away from Anfield, the last-16 double-header against Leipzig in Budapest included. Saturday's 3-0 victory at Arsenal featured a fourth successive clean sheet with centre-backs Ozan Kabak and Nathaniel Phillips playing in tandem while Diogo Jota's two goals off the bench made it six in his last four for club and country – stating a strong case for his involvement from the start against Madrid.
View from the camps
Zinédine Zidane, Real Madrid coach: “It’s knockout football, a final, that’s going to be played over 180 minutes or more. We know what there is to come, but we’re just focused on tomorrow’s game – nothing else. It’s the most important game of the season because it’s the next one we have. We aren’t thinking about the past [2018's final]."
Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool manager: "It's exciting, exciting. It's obviously a tough draw but I am fine with it because if you look at all the other teams you think 'Oh my God' because they are all strong and all have quality. I am really looking forward to the games. It's only just over two years ago that we faced them and it was a tough night for us, so to get the chance to play them again is cool."
Photo credit: UEFA