Liverpool are facing a daunting challenge to get themselves into this year's Champions League semi-finals.
They take on Real Madrid at Anfield, 3-1 down from the first leg of their quarter-final fixture, and facing a Los Blancos side who are enjoying their best form of the season and are coming off the back of completing an El Clasico double over Barcelona at the weekend.
Normally, Liverpool could count on their famous European night atmosphere inside Anfield to give them a boost but no fans will be allowed in the stadium as Covid-19 restrictions continue.
Manager Jurgen Klopp will be hoping that his team having registered their first win at Anfield in the Premier League and their first goals from open play this year, against Aston Villa, will bolster their confidence ahead of the Real Madrid test.
What do the stats say?
In 13 previous knockout ties in European competition where they’ve lost the first leg by 2 or more goals, Liverpool have progressed twice. The most recent example was overturning a 0-3 first-leg deficit against Barcelona en route to winning the 2018-19 Champions League.
Real Madrid have won 15 of their 16 previous knockout round ties in the Champions League when winning the first leg by 2 or more goals. The only exception was the 2003-04 quarter-final against Monaco where Los Blancos won the first leg 4-2 and lost the second leg 1-3 to crash out of the competition.
Liverpool already know they will need to score goals but Real Madrid's record of having scored in each of their last 23 Champions League knockout stage matches may mean The Reds need more than two goals to see off Zinedine Zidane's men.
Head to head record
Liverpool's recent record against Real Madrid has been poor, with The Reds having to go back just over 12 years for a win against the 13-time champions of Europe.
|06/04/21||Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool|
|26/05/18||Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool|
|04/11/14||Real Madrid 1-0 Liverpool|
|22/10/14||Liverpool 0-3 Real Madrid|
|10/03/09||Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid|
What did our betting tipster predict?
Both Liverpool and Real Madrid's recent form has been really strong. Real Madrid are unbeaten in their last five matches in all competitions, having scored 13 goals and beating the likes of Atalanta, Barcelona and, of course, Liverpool along the way. The one blight in that record is their lack of clean sheets with Los Blancos only managing that once against lowly Eibar.
Liverpool's only loss in their last five matches was against Real Madrid and they have scored nine goals in beating Aston Villa, Arsenal, Wolves and RB Leipzig. The Reds kept three clean sheets in that run so there is some indication their makeshift defence is starting to find its feet.
Despite this, most bookies have short odds on both teams to score and it's hard to see either team keeping a clean sheet.
Predicted score: Real Madrid 1 - 2 Liverpoo l
What did our expert journalist predict?
There’s no doubt that Liverpool are up against it as they look to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, having been defeated 3-1 by Real Madrid away in the first leg of their quarter-final tie.
The Reds were outclassed during a listless first half, and it’s imperative that they start much more strongly as they look to overturn the two-goal deficit.
In years gone by, during pre-Covid times, the Anfield crowd and the atmosphere of a big European night on Merseyside could have carried them through.
However, Liverpool’s win over Aston Villa at the weekend ended a run of eight winless league games at Anfield, and even with home comforts, they’re not the force they once were.
Predicted score: Real Madrid 2 - 2 Liverpool
What’s our final prediction?Both our experts believe both sides will score and the match will have 3 goals or more. Both seem to think that a repeat of Liverpool's famous 2019 Champions League semi-final comeback win over Barcelona is beyond a Reds team in this form.
Liverpool fans will believe a repeat is possible, but punters are doubtful about their progression despite backing plenty of goals in the match.