Liverpool vs Real Madrid PreviewJake Cooper | 12 Oct 2016
Real Madrid travel to Anfield for Wednesday evening’s Champions League clash without the services of superstar signing Gareth Bale.
Bale, 25, is currently struggling with a thigh injury which he picked up while on International duty playing for Wales and will sit out the clash.
Real coach Caro Ancelotti will now have to look at ways of filling the substantial gap left by Bale’s absence, particularly his strike capacity up front as well as his crisp passing and distribution skills.
One avenue open to Ancelotti is to push the prodigious James Rodriguez into that right side for Real, replacing the world’s most expensive player, and asking James to do a job there, perhaps playing further up than he would usually be expected to.
Speaking ahead of the clash, Ancelotti said, “I think we are arriving well into this week. We had a difficult game to prepare here, but we played very well and seriously. We were very concentrated and it all went well.
“Now we have time to, firstly, recover some players, and then think about the game on Wednesday.”
Liverpool come into the game with a record that reads, won 1, lost 1 and the Reds will be desperate to take the points on offer at the Kop.
After sneaking home against QPR in a bizarre game in which 4 goals were scored in the final 8 minutes of the game, Brendan Rodgers’ side will need to improve markedly when they take on champions Real.
Midfielder Jordan Henderson acknowledged that a major improvement would be needed following the QPR game and said, “We all know we need to be better than that… The first half just wasn’t good enough. We didn’t play, we didn’t keep the ball and we didn’t dominate with the ball.”
With Real looking to maintain their 100% record in the Champions League, the Reds will have to be far superior than they were against QPR and put in a full 90 minute performance.
A fascinating clash awaits at Anfield, kick off is on Wednesday evening at 19.45 BST.