I thought they might do what they did against Man City with Asensio (or Rodrygo for most of that match) tucked in on the right, with a view to containing Robertson and Mane given Lucas Vazquez is very attack-minded at right-back and a converted winger . Expert consensus suggest I’m a numpty and it will be 4-3-3 all the way
And welcome to live coverage of the seventh meeting between Real Madrid and Liverpool in this competition. This match between the 13-times champions and the six-times champions is their first meeting since the 2018 final, Cristiano Ronaldo’s last match for Real, when an injury sustained by Mohamed Salah with more than a little help from Sergio Ramos, some epic pan-handed moments from Loris Karius and a touch of Gareth Bale genius proved decisive.
The match takes place at Estadio Alfredo Di Stéfano in Real’s training complex where they have held all their home matches since emerging from the first Spain-wide Covid-19 lockdown last year. Real Madrid’s centre-back pairing from 2018, Ramos and Raphael Varane, World Cup-winners in 2010 and 2018 respectively, are both out injured and it looks as if Zinedine Zidane will have to rely on Eder Militao to partner Nacho unless he decides on the back three that won 2-0 against Eibar at the weekend with Mendy tucked in on the left and Marcelo ahead of him as a left wing-back.
Real may have lost their galáctico glitz as a result of their enormous debts but they remain a very efficient side, Karim Benzema is in sensational form and they have lost only once in their last 19 league matches in their climb up to third and only three points behind Atlético at the top.
That was some twitch on the thread from Liverpool on Saturday to remind us of their enduring class. Yes, Arsenal can appear almost derelict at times but Liverpool’s domination, particularly the contributions of Fabinho and Thiago in midfield, gave them the basis of a winning strategy for tonight. Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric can be difficult to contain, even at Modric’s advanced years, but if Fabinho is not having to put out defensive fires, he can give the visitors the edge in midfield.
The team news comes early in the Champions League, usually 75-90 minutes before kick-off. We will confirm the line-ups as soon as they drop.
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