EUROPE: UEFA Champions League
Date: Wednesday, 14 April 2021
Kick-off at 20:00 UK/ 21:00 CET
Venue: Anfield (Liverpool)
Liverpool finally ended their worst losing league run at Anfield since the 1950s as they scraped past Aston Villa 2-1 with a last-gasp strike at the weekend, in what was their 37th Premier League winning goal scored in or after the 90th minute – 12 more than any other side! They’re going to need more than that if they’re to overturn a 3-1 first-leg deficit in this match though.
However Liverpool have a history of overturning deficits, and beat Real’s fierce-rivals Barcelona 4-0 at home after losing 3-0 away in the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League (UCL) semi-final. Scoring first will be important, especially as the team netting first has gone unbeaten during regulation time in Liverpool’s last 24 UCL home matches, although worryingly, across the Reds’ last 14 competitive games at Anfield (W5, D2, L7) only two featured a scoreline that if repeated here, would see Liverpool progress.
Real Madrid will be on cloud nine after a 2-1 El Clásico win at the weekend extended their unbeaten run to 13 games (W11, D2) and gave them a fifth straight HT/FT victory. Not only that, but no side has beaten Liverpool in European competition more times than Madrid (four), whilst they’ve also progressed in 15 of the last 16 UCL knockouts in which they won the first leg!
Unbeaten in six away games (W5, D1), and enjoying a record 36th appearance in a European Cup/UCL quarter-final, expect a confident Madrid side, especially as they’ve conceded the opener just twice across their last 11 away outings.
Players to watch: Mohamed Salah has scored in four of Liverpool’s last five games, netting their first strike on three occasions. Equally in good form is Karim Benzema who has scored in a joint-record 16 consecutive UCL campaigns and has been Madrid’s first goalscorer in five of their previous seven matches.
- Liverpool’s form in last 5 matches: WWLWW.
- Real Madrid’s form in last 5 matches: DLWWW.