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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

It’s Liverpool vs Real Madrid for the Champions League

Liverpool will face Real Madrid at Anfield in the UEFA Champions League last 16, in what is expected to be a thrilling encounter. Liverpool will be seeking to avenge their UCL final defeat to Los Blancos last May, but this will be a tough task against the LaLiga giants. Liverpool’s recent record against Real Madrid has been poor, as they haven’t won any of their last six meetings, with five defeats and one draw. This is their longest-ever winless run against a single opponent in the history of the European Cup/Champions League.

In contrast, Liverpool had a strong start in the early European meetings between the two clubs, winning each of their first three matches against Real Madrid between 1981 and 2009. Real Madrid has visited Anfield three times in the UEFA Champions League and lost the first game there in March 2009 with a humiliating 4-0 defeat. However, they haven’t conceded a goal in their last two visits, winning 3-0 in October 2014 and drawing 0-0 most recently in April 2021.


Real Madrid hasn’t been in the best form away in England in the competition lately, winning just one of their last seven away games at English clubs in the UCL, with two draws and four losses. Real Madrid will be without midfielders Toni Kroos and Aurelien Tchouameni for their upcoming UEFA Champions League match against Liverpool on Tuesday. The club has announced that neither player has been included in the squad for the match at Anfield.

Liverpool has had a rocky start to 2023, but they hope to have turned the corner with their recent victories against Everton and Newcastle United, ending a sequence of just one win in seven competitive games. January signing Cody Gakpo has scored in both of Liverpool’s recent wins, while Darwin Núñez scored for the second time in ten post-World Cup appearances in the 2-0 victory at Newcastle on Saturday evening.

Real Madrid has had a busy start to 2023, playing 14 matches already this year, six more than their opponents Liverpool. Despite their busy schedule, Real Madrid is currently on a four-game winning streak following a LaLiga defeat at Mallorca on 5 February.

In the UCL, Real Madrid finished on top of Group F with four wins from six games, placing them above RB Leipzig, Shakhtar Donetsk, and Celtic with 13 points. Liverpool, on the other hand, lost their opening match of the 2022-23 UEFA Champions League campaign against Napoli (4-1) but won each of their last five European matches. They still qualified ahead of Ajax and Rangers to set up this last 16 match with Real Madrid. The total goals scored by Liverpool in the 2022-23 competition is fourth-best, behind only Benfica, Bayern Munich, and Napoli.

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