Spain and England’s Champions, Real Madrid and Liverpool lock horns in the high-voltage first-leg quarter-final clash of Champions League 2020-21.
Match Timings: April 07, 12:30 AM IST
Champions League quarterfinals kick off with a clash of titans in the Spanish capital. Real Madrid and Liverpool are the reigning champions in La Liga and Premier League respectively. Real Madrid welcomes Liverpool for the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final to better their record in UEFA Competitions. The Spanish side are 13-time winners of the Champions League and they are entering as the tag of favourites in the home clash with English giants. Madrid have won four titles in UCL in the last seven years and they were eliminated twice in the round-of-16 in the last two years of the competition. Their last knock-out defeat came against an English side last year.
Zinedine Zidane's side didn’t show an extraordinary game in the group stage with winning just three of their six matches and managed to get 10 points. Los Blancos defeated Italian club Atalanta in the round of 16 with an aggregate success of 4-1. Madrid have won nine of their previous 11 matches in all competitions and they are coming off a 2-0 win over Eibar last week. Zidane’s men are three points behind La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid. Real Madrid will also welcome arch-rivals Barcelona next weekend before playing the second leg of the quarter-final at Anfield. This month will be crucial for Madrid and it will decide the story of this season.
The La Liga side have beaten Liverpool 3-1 in the final of the Champions League 2017-18 and they had an aggregate success in the group stages of the 2014-15 season. Los Blancos have won eight and lost five of their last 13 two-legged knockout ties with Premier League sides.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are entering into this fixture with a 3-0 success against in-form Arsenal. Courtesy of Diogo Jota’s brace. The Reds moved to fifth position, just two points off the top four, and Klopp's side would look to grab the Champions League spot for the 2021-22 season. They are on a winning track with three consecutive wins. Their campaign in the Champions League hasn’t been so convincing as they suffered a home defeat to Atalanta in the group stages but still topped the group. The Reds beat last season’s semifinalists and Bundesliga’s current title contenders RB Leipzig. The entire season has been pretty disappointing for Liverpool. They failed to defend their title and their poor show might knock them out of the Champions League qualification. Kloop would keen to grab the Champions League trophy and a top-four finish in Premier League.
The English side have won 15 of their previous 23 European encounters but numbers are not effective against La Liga clubs as they have won just two of their last 12 matches against Spanish sides and suffered eight defeats during the run. Reds met Atletico in the last-16 stage of the season 2019-20 and suffered a 4-2 aggregate loss. The victory against Gunners last week boosted their confidence and they would look to extend their winning run in the Champions League as well.
Possible Lineups & Current Form
Courtois; Varane, Militao, Nacho; Vazquez, Modric, Casemiro, Kroos, Mendy; Vinicius, Benzema
Current Form: D D W W W W
Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, Kabak, Robertson; Thiago, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Current Form: W L L W W W