Along with Paris Saint-Germain v Bayern Munich, the clash between Liverpool and Real Madrid is the tie of the Champions League last sixteen. Jurgen Klopp’s side were beaten heavily by Napoli in their opening group game before recovering to win their following five clashes and that included a 2-0 Anfield win over the same opponents to sign off as runners-up.

It's been a tricky domestic campaign for Klopp’s side so far, having pushed Manchester City hard in the Premier League last season and they also reached the Champions League final. However, they will hope to be in better form after the World Cup and by the time that this two-legged affair comes around against tough Spanish opponents.

Real Madrid had a grand adventure last season when overcoming Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Manchester City and then Liverpool to lift the trophy. It’s hard to bet against them when it comes to this clash against the same English opponents, even if Casemiro no longer forms part of the squad and the Brazilian previously provided experience.

Luka Modric and Toni Kroos continue in his absence and there’s plenty to like about a team who were able to pip RB Leipzig to top spot. However, they did lose 3-2 in Germany after conceding a couple of early goals and it will be interesting to see how they cope with a passionate Anfield crowd intent on steering their team to a positive result in the first leg.


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