Anfield is calibrating two rearmed armies

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Anfield is calibrating two rearmed armies

Relaunched and soldiers added to the cause, Liverpool and Real Madrid open a new chapter of their Merseyside aristocratic rivalry

Having met in two of the last five Champions League finals and also crossed swords in the quarter-finals of the top continental league a few seasons ago, Liverpool and Real Madrid will battle out the first round of a new tie this Tuesday at Anfield that will swell the legend of one of the great classics of European football.

The Merseyside Temple, home of a side whose six European Cups place it among the football aristocracy, is visited by the absolute monarch of the Old Continent with his fourteen ‘orejonas’, the last of whom has just traveled from Paris to the Santiago Bernabéu in 269 days, after a goal from Vinicius and a stratospheric performance from Courtois sealed the same fate at the Stade de France that the ‘reds’ had faced four years earlier at the Kiev Olympics, when Bale and Karius assumed the role of hero and villain in their own right names, respectively.

The wounds inflicted by Real Madrid in the Ukrainian and French capitals still haunt Liverpool, which are crying out for revenge against Carlo Ancelotti’s team after rearming over the past week. Wins over Everton and Newcastle have given Jürgen Klopp’s troops some of the self-esteem lost during a stormy season. After being knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Manchester City in December and also knocked out of the FA Cup by Brighton in January, the ‘reds’ squandered every option to fight for the Premier League before the break for the World Cup in Qatar. coupled with the Chamartin team who agreed to the draw for the Champions League round of 16. The rear was leaking and the infirmary was overcrowded. The outlook was so bleak that there was talk of an end of the cycle.

But now the patient has a better face. “We won two games in a row and confidence has returned,” noted Dutchman Cody Gakpo on Monday, a winter signing who, after a dubious start as a ‘red’, began to make his mark with two goals in the final. two days of the Prime Minister. “These two wins can make it look like we are better. And yes, we can, but we have to fight with everything we have,” added a cautious Klopp, though hopeful. “If it had been a few weeks ago, it would have been different. We have to use this competition to our advantage. We have to play two super games. Real Madrid never misses an opportunity and that is the difference,” the Teuton had an impact.

The return of Firmino and Jota broadens the range of attacking options for Liverpool, despite Luis Díaz still being drydocked and Darwin Núñez leaving with his shoulder touched at St. James’ Park on Saturday, where the Uruguayan ended up six games without scoring in the Premier. Klopp has also brought back Van Dijk, who missed seven games with a hamstring injury, but was able to play out the 90th minute against Newcastle. Saving a good version of the Breda centre-back looks crucial for Liverpool to short-change an opponent who transforms when he hears the Champions League anthem. “When you win the game that many times you can probably think it’s yours and maybe they’re right,” explained his coach.

Real Madrid’s prowess in their fetish tournament peaked last year in the knockout stage, where the Whites knocked down PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City successively before beating Liverpool in the Paris final. Recreating that epic journey, while relieving it of extreme suffering if possible, is the goal Ancelotti’s battalion has set for itself, which is also being relaunched in the trial and adding soldiers to the cause.

League victories against Elche and Osasuna, along with winning the Club World Cup, have revived the current European champions, who will return to Anfield with Benzema as their banner. After the break in Pamplona, ​​the Lyon man, who has scored 15 goals in 21 games against English sides in the Champions League but still has a clean counter in this edition of the tournament, will once again occupy the spearhead, with Valverde and Vinicius in the sides. The main question is whether Ancelotti will keep Rüdiger in the rear as Militao’s companion or opt for Nacho, following the duo who built an insurmountable wall around Courtois at Anfield two years ago.

Source: La Verdad

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