Liverpool vs Real Madrid preview: Jones back, Vazquez out

Team news, stats, kick-off time ahead of the Champions League quarter-final second leg between Liverpool and Real Madrid on Wednesday.

Team News

Liverpool should have midfielder Curtis Jones back for Wednesday’s crunch Champions League quarter-final second leg with Real Madrid.

Jones missed Saturday’s Premier League victory over Aston Villa with a muscular strain but is expected to return to the Liverpool squad, though the game will come too soon for captain Jordan Henderson.

Long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip remain out, meaning the inexperienced centre-back pairing of Ozan Kabak and Nat Phillips is likely to be retained.

Real Madrid have added Lucas Vazquez to their lengthy injury list ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Anfield.

The makeshift wing-back injured his knee in Saturday’s El Clasico victory over Barcelona, meaning Alvaro Odriozola is set to deputise in Vazquez’s absence.

Real are sweating on the fitness of forward Federico Valverde after bruising his foot though he is expected to recover, but the same cannot be said for Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane or Dani Carvajal.

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Klopp cautious about comeback chances

ap - Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp is cautious over Liverpool’s comeback credentials

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists his side can not take another Champions League comeback for granted as they look to overturn a two-goal deficit against Real Madrid.

Wednesday’s match takes place five years to the day since they pulled off an added-time victory to beat Klopp’s former side Borussia Dortmund in a Europa League quarter-final second leg, having been 4-2 down on aggregate with 24 minutes to go. Despite the impressive record of comebacks, however, Klopp sounded a note of caution.

“You cannot take it for granted. You never could and you never should,” he said.

“You don’t get a comeback because you had one in the past. You only have a chance if you play really good football in the present and that’s what we have to do.

“The best situation would be that you didn’t need a comeback. That’s not worth talking about now.”

Robertson: Liverpool need near-perfect performance

Mo Salah celebrates with Andrew Robertson
Andy Robertson says Liverpool need a near-perfect performance to overturn Real Madrid’s first-leg lead

Liverpool defender Andy Robertson insists the players are determined to prolong their Champions League season despite few people giving them a chance of making the semi-finals after their woeful first-leg performance against Real Madrid.

Jurgen Klopp’s side trail 3-1 heading into the second leg at Anfield, which devoid of fans will not be able to provide the backdrop for another potential comeback like the one famously fashioned against Barcelona two years ago.

Robertson believes the task that awaits them on Wednesday is equal to that which faced them after losing 3-0 to Lionel Messi-inspired opponents in the Nou Camp, when supporters played their part in the 4-0 home win.

“They are both as hard, and are different but same in their own way,” said the Scotland captain. “Barcelona that night was obviously an incredible night and wouldn’t have been possible without fans in there.

“The fans made us feel 10 feet tall and believe even more. We felt before that game we could overturn it. It’s a big task for us and isn’t the same as the Barcelona game. We can’t rely on the fact we came back in that game that we are going to come back in this one.

“People have maybe written us off, but we believe we can put in a better performance than last week and that’s the only way to give us a fighting chance. We believe we can win the game. If we do that it gives us a fighting chance; let’s see if it’s enough on the night. Fingers crossed it will be.”

Alexander-Arnold completes late Reds comeback


FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Liverpool’s win against Aston Villa in the Premier League

How to follow

Follow Liverpool vs Real Madrid via our dedicated live blog on Sky Sports website and app on Tuesday; kick-off at 8pm.

Opta stats

  • After winning their first three meetings with Real Madrid in European competition, Liverpool have lost each of their last four against the Spanish giants – against no side have they lost more (also 4 vs Benfica).
  • This will be Real Madrid’s third visit to Anfield to face Liverpool in European competition – they lost 0-4 in March 2009 and won 3-0 in October 2014 (both in UEFA Champions League).
  • Five of Liverpool’s 11 home defeats in the UEFA Champions League have come against Spanish opposition, while Real Madrid could become just the second side to win away against the Reds twice in the competition, after Barcelona.
  • Real Madrid have scored in each of their last 23 UEFA Champions League knockout stage matches since a goalless draw with Manchester City in the 2015-16 semi-final (50 goals).
  • Vinícius Júnior scored twice for Real Madrid in the first leg against Liverpool, as many goals as he’d netted in his first 17 appearances in the UEFA Champions League.
  • Mohamed Salah has scored in each of his last four UEFA Champions League appearances – the only Liverpool player to score in five consecutive European Cup/Champions League games is Steven Gerrard, who did so in the 2007-08 campaign.


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