Last time these two teams met, on the 22nd of October, Real Madrid routed Liverpool 3-0 at Anfield in the first half before stepping off the gas to rest players and protect against injuries. Liverpool were unable to compete with Real Madrid's intensity and pace. Therefore, when The Reds come to visit the Santiago Bernabeu there is only one objective in sight for Los Blancos: make them endure a similar defeat.
It is no secret that Real Madrid have now won 11 consecutive games in all competitions and they'll be looking to keep that run going tomorrow. It's also of note to remember that the last time Liverpool visited the Bernabeu they won 0-1 so it'll be important for Los Blancos not to be embarrassed at home again. A win against the Reds would ensure entry to the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 with 2 games still to be played as well as first place in the group.
Unlike last time out, it seems as though Liverpool's injured striker Daniel Sturridge may be able to make a return to their starting line-up as he has travelled with the squad ahead of their visit to the home of Los Blancos. This could give Liverpool the finishing touch they needed in the first game. Real Madrid will want to start the game at a fast pace because they've been caught sleeping against Barcelona and were slow to start against Liverpool too in recent weeks.
Liverpool usually play under a variant of the 4-3-3 formation but have also played a 4-2-3-1, a 4-5-1 and a 3-5-1-1 formation in recent outings so one can never really know which formation they plan to play. This versatility is important for them but it can also be a weakness as it is harder to build chemistry without a set system. I think they'll opt for the 4-3-3 in attack which switches to a 4-5-1 in defence. The Reds will need to keep things tighter in defence if they plan to stand a chance at the Bernabeu.
Carlo Ancelotti may have chosen to rest a few of his more established players as this fixture is not as important in the grand scheme of things as some of the upcoming Liga BBVA matches. Although this is now unlikely after Sami Khedira and Asier Illarramendi were reported to have picked up small injuries. Real Madrid can still be group winners with a win against either Ludogorets Razgrad or FC Basel. Jesé Rodríguez, Dani Carvajal & Fabio Coentrao will all miss the match. Gareth Bale however, could make his return to first-team action tomorrow night for Los Blancos after recovering from a gluteal injury.
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TV Information: La 1 de TVE (Spain), Fox Sports 1, DirecTV (USA), ITV1 (UK) & Others.
Projected Line-Up: Casillas, Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Kroos, Modric, James, Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema.
Score Prediction: Real Madrid 3-0 Liverpool.