Liverpool host Real Madrid in the second-leg of their Champions League quarter-finals tonight, and they will be looking to secure a comeback in order to book a place in the semi-finals.
Jurgen Klopp’s men lost 3-1 to the Spanish giants in the first-leg last week, and they need to win by at least two goals at Anfield to advance to the last-four.
Liverpool are not new to comebacks, pulling off a remarkable 4-0 win at home against Barcelona to book their place in the Champions League final having lost 3-0 at Camp Nou two seasons ago.
Without their fans available at their home ground to cheer them on, the Reds’ task is much harder, though.
However, former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez believes that they can pull off another Champions League miracle tonight, and he has sent a message to the Premier League defending champions ahead of the clash.
“In the first leg, I was expecting Liverpool would play with high intensity, high pressing, especially against Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, but they didn’t do that,” the Spaniard told The Telegraph.
“Kroos hurt them with his passing but even Thibaut Courtois in the Real Madrid goal was playing the ball behind the defenders too easily so they have to make sure they don’t let that happen again.”
Benitez believes Liverpool can earn a big win if they make a minor adjustment to their defensive line, if Thiago can successfully dictate the tempo of the game, and if Mohamed Salah is at his best in front of goal.
Madrid are set to be without the trio of Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and Lucas Vazquez at the back, and that is expected to hand Liverpool a huge boost at home.
Weekend’s hard-fought victory over Aston Villa has put them in the right frame of mind ahead of tonight’s clash, and it will be interesting to see whether they can pull off another massive comeback in Europe’s biggest competition.