Real Madrid—Liverpool: Face-to-Face in the Champions League – Bleacher Report

Absolutely huge classical match in the Champions League, two Spanish managers face-to-face. Ironically it is likely that Liverpool, the English side, will field more Spanish players than Real Madrid in the starting line-up.
League positions
Liverpool: Second in the Premier League with 51 pts from 25 (W: 15 D: 9 L: 1) (GF: 42 GA: 17)
Real Madrid: Second in the La Liga with 50 pts from 23 (W: 16 D: 2 L: 5) (GF: 49 GA: 27)
Both teams only have two titles to challenge for: their national leagues and the Champions League.
Juande Ramos; replaced sacked coach Schuster on 8th December 2008. Has managed Los Blancos for 10 games (W: 9 L: 1) guiding Madrid to 8 consecutive wins in the La Liga.
Ramos is not worried about his short term (six-month) contract.  He considers his mission in Real Madrid to get them out of their results and form crisis they suffered this season under Schuster.
Under the German, Madrid suffered two humiliating loses against Juventus. They were also eliminated from The Copa Del Rey by humble Real Union. Not to mention the increasing unpopularity in the dressing room and the injury crisis.
Benitez’s team this season is a main contender for a first League title since 1991. They have secured great results like beating Man United and Chelsea (twice) but were held by teams like Stoke City, Hull, West Ham, and Fulham.
Real Madrid SWOT analysis
Liverpool SWOT analysis
Real Madrid have proven that they are not dependent on Robben as they trashed Sporting Gijon away (4-0), but Liverpool are not Sporting and Gijon are considered one of the worst defenses in the La Liga.
Juande Ramos now facing his second challenge to end Real Madrid’s last 16 jinx in the Champions League. He already passed his first challenge which was to build a real football team, unite the players, and teach them their roles within the team.
Lassanna Diarra and Gago are essential, especially when we are talking tactically they must face Alonso-Mascherano, that will be interesting to watch. Robben, Higuain, and Raul are the crucial attacking force for Madrid, positively, all of them are now in-form.
I think Rafa Benitez’s priority is the English Premier League. This is his fifth season with Liverpool and not winning the league title is a black point to the Rafalution.
Many predict the game will be very tight and defensive, although the tactical battle will be interesting to watch.
Liverpool have a small advantage over Real Madrid, as the second leg will be at Anfield.
Key players
Raul: He is the top Champions League scorer, his experience will be vital and his clever positioning will give the Liverpool defenders hard time.
Robben: The man who must exploit Liverpool weaknesses on the flanks, he will also be the main weapon to open the tight defense by Liverpool at the Bernabeu.
Casillas: His record against Torres is so impressive, only one goal conceeded.
Gago & Diarra: They are the shield for Real Madrid Defense, big battle versus Alonso & Mascherano
Gerrard: His long range shots and forward runs, linking up with Torres should be the main threat for Madrid defense.
Torres: The new golden boy for Spain against the old boy Raul, marvelous test for both players from different generations
Jamie Carragher: The leader of Liverpool backline, and maybe for Liverpool if Gerrard isn’t fit for the match. Raul and Higuain should keep Carra busy Wednesday night.
Kuyt: Benitez’s all-round player, winger or striker he does his best and top hard worker, a player type admired by any manager.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Translate »