Real Madrid v Liverpool: Champions League last 16, second leg – live | Champions League
Pre-match postbag o’pessimism. “Not only do Liverpool have no chance of beating Madrid, neither do Manchester City. Madrid with Benzema are unbeatable” – Jeff Sax
“I enter today’s match like I did the second leg v Barcelona in 2019. I have no expectations of a good result, but we’ll see what happens. Lucky jersey being employed” – Joe Pearson
“I should probably turn to heavy metal but find myself listening to the new Belle & Sebastian new album as the Reds get ready to
be fed to the lions fight to the last minute for dignity and that one-percent chance of survival. One of the tunes (below) laments ‘I wish I could be content with the football scores’. I feel that lyric, but am prepared to make an exception today. If the score – against all odds – ends up Real Madrid 0:4 Liverpool FC, I’ll be sure to find some measure of contentment” – Peter Oh
Real Madrid make two changes to the starting XI selected for their 5-2 romp at Anfield. Nacho and Toni Kroos take the places of Rodrygo, who drops to the bench, and the hamstrung David Alaba.
Liverpool make three changes from that fateful day. In come Ibrahima Konate, Diogo Jota and, wearing the captain’s armband, James Milner. They replace the usual captain Jordan Henderson, who is ill, Stefan Bajcetic, who is injured, and Joe Gomez, who is benched. Four strikers! Jurgen Klopp has clearly decided Liverpool aren’t going to go home wondering.
Real Madrid: Courtois, Carvajal, Militão, Rüdiger, Camavinga, Nacho, Kroos, Modrić, Benzema, Valverde, Vinícius Júnior.
Subs: Lunin, Vallejo, Hazard, Asensio, Odriozola, Vázquez, Tchouameni, Ceballos, Rodrygo, Mendy, Díaz, Rodríguez.
Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Konate, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho, Milner, Gakpo, Nunez, Salah, Jota.
Subs: Adrian, Kelleher, Gomez, Keita, Firmino, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jones, Elliott, Tsimikas, Carvalho, Matip, Williams.
Referee: Felix Zwayer (Germany).
After this …
… Liverpool need to channel this …
… and even then, away from home this time and against serial winners, that might not be enough. Damage limitation is the other, arguably wiser, option, but then faint heart and that. There goes that dream? Kick off at the Bernabeu is at 8pm GMT, 9pm in Madrid. It’s on!