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Liverpool already have two perfect blueprints to follow in their bid to repay Real Madrid



Liverpool already have two perfect blueprints to follow in their bid to repay Real Madrid

Liverpool legend and ECHO columnist John Aldridge looks ahead to tonight’s Champions League round of 16 draw against Real Madrid

Real Madrid are a team that hurt Liverpool in the last two finals we played against them in 2018 and 2022. You want revenge.

Real Madrid are not fleeing La Liga and their form, while not as bad as ours, was somewhere in between. But it’s Real Madrid and they know how to win these matches.
They were brilliant in the league last season. When they seemed eliminated, they beat Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.

Like Liverpool, they know how to assert themselves in this competition. We have beaten them before and we can beat them again.

Clean sheets aren’t so important now, because away goals don’t count. We have to try to win by a goal or two, but we still have to beat them at the Santiago Bernabeu. To do this, Liverpool has to play as if they were not at home against Napoli and as against Manchester City in October. Use the game plans against them, and if you win 1-0, take it.

So the game plan is enormous.
Stability in midfield

With all respect for Thiago Alcantara, in terms of defensive stability, it is not his game. Nby Keita cannot defend, the end of history. He’s not a good defender.

Liverpool have three Newcastle advantages as Luis Díaz poses the intriguing Darwin Nuñez question

Fabinho, when he’s in his game, is a very good defensive midfielder. He has just lost his shape and has to get it back.

Now he is involved in two good games and Klopp has to settle for the same midfield as Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Stefan Bajcetic. Next to come on as we’re playing right now is James Milner, who can help defend and keep a clean sheet. So those are the four main midfielders at the moment, with the absence of Thiago. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Curtis Jones don’t seem to know at this time.

Klopp has a well-established midfield he needs to adhere to. Henderson may need help along the way and only plays 60 or 70 minutes because Liverpool need him in the squad to get the best out of him as he is a great captain.

Bajcetic, I don’t want to talk about him anymore because the hype has been huge. But he was brilliant.

It’s like a breath of fresh air when you see someone running through a brick wall trying to prove to someone how good they are. And it’s like a new addition in the January window.

He could be a very good long-term player. So Liverpool need to build on that, but the club need a few long-term midfield signings, everyone knows that. Liverpool need Trent to get back to his best.

Liverpool will need Trent Alexander-Arnold to continue their form against Real Madrid as the quality of the crosses he throws at him is appalling.

Anyone playing against Allan Saint-Maximin for Newcastle will find it difficult. But Trent played quite well against him, went up against him and did well.

People point fingers at him because when he moves forward and Henderson is on the team, he covers for him. Henderson is good at recognizing it early on, which other people can’t. Alexander-Arnold needs to turn up to put the crosses into the box Liverpool need for the forwards to score goals. It’s invaluable, but you have to have someone to cover it.

Playing against Real Madrid will be a great game for Trent as he still needs to get ahead and Liverpool need to score to pass the draw. At the same time, he meets a good winger in Vinicius Jr.

Liverpool have to be on their game. They have great players like Luka Modric and Karim Benzema as well as Vinicius.

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Some things that came out during Liverpool training ahead of Real Madrid, including Nunez update

Liverpool host Real Madrid at Anfield in Champions League final first leg on Tuesday night-16 after wins over Everton and Newcastle in Premier League

Liverpool are preparing for one of the biggest games of the season against Real Madrid at Anfield on Tuesday night.
Jürgen Klopp’s team found their form at the right time and will face the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Real with confidence. After a poor start to 2023, which saw one win from seven games in all competitions, Liverpool now have back-to-back 2-0 wins over Everton and Newcastle.

These results have led to renewed optimism, with two games left in hand giving them a fighting chance to close the seven-point gap to fourth-placed Tottenham in the Premier League. An easing of the previously bloated injury list also comes at an opportune time ahead of the Champions League match against Real. Klopp put his players through their paces at their training ground in Kirkby on Monday. Here’s what came out of the session.

Nunez trains

The only downside to an impressive win over Newcastle at St James’ Park on Saturday came when Darwin Nunez picked up a second-half shoulder injury. Nunez was injured in a challenge with Kieran Trippier and had to be replaced, with Klopp explaining in the post-match press conference that “something on his shoulder” was “painful” for the Uruguayan.

The good news is that Nunez was training normally with the group on Monday and showed no signs of discomfort or pain. Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Klopp gave this update: