Soaring Real Madrid will hope to continue a dazzling run of form on Merseyside when they make the trip to face Liverpool on Wednesday.
Brendan Rodgers’ side promise to be the toughest test Los Blancos will face in Group B, but Carlo Ancelloti will be upbeat about his team’s chances of maintaining a winning start to this season’s Champions League.
Real are currently three points clear at the top of their pool and promise to extend that lead further should they wheel away from Anfield with another three points to their name.
Read on for full viewing information and a match preview of what should be a dramatic clash between the giants of England and Spain.
Date: Wednesday, October 22
Time: 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Sky Go (UK, subscription required), Fox Soccer 2GO (US)
TV Info: Sky Sports 5 (UK, red button), Fox Sports 1 (US)
Key Players to Watch
Liverpool: Raheem Sterling
As recently as this week, Raheem Sterling was being linked with a move to the Bernabeu, but Ancelotti has stated that his side hold no interest in the attacker, per The Sun (h/t Daily Mail):
“Sterling is a player of great quality, certainly one of the best in Europe, But we already have extraordinary talent here.”
It gives the 19-year-old some relief ahead of such a titanic encounter, where a responsibility will be placed upon him to carry the Reds’ attack, such has been the unreliable form of Mario Balotelli lately.
Since arriving back in England, the Italian has struggled to find his touch in front of goal, with This Is Anfield tipping Sterling to play in a false-nine capacity, providing a more potent threat up front:
NEW: Brendan Rodgers should start Raheem Sterling as a ‘False Nine’ against Real Madrid? http://t.co/QO928Zx6Yj #LFC
Sterling’s Liverpool rise over the past year has been phenomenal, but in Real Madrid, the youngster faces a test unlike ever before in striving to be the spearhead for his side.
Should the visitors succeed in shutting him down, they have a chance at cancelling out Rodgers’ team. However, if the hosts are to find their breakthrough, they’ll need Sterling at his optimum.
Real Madrid: Toni Kroos
Following a £24 million arrival from Bayern Munich over the summer, Toni Kroos has shown incredible class in adapting to life in Spain, becoming an instant hit at the Bernabeu.
As OptaJose attests, only Isco can match the central midfielder for assists recorded so far this season, as Ancelotti’s recent acquisition has had no issues in finding the superb talents in front of him:
4 – Isco and Kroos are joint-top assistants for Real Madrid in La Liga this season (four apiece). Support
Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson arguably make up the most reliable and consistent portion of the Liverpool squad, and so that pair in particular will look to cage Kroos, in turn restricting Real’s supply in attack.
That being said, the German is a slippery customer not unaccustomed to evading such shackles, making for a midfield battle which may potentially settle the tie as each side hope to establish engine-room dominance.