Madrid, Apr 5 (efe-epa).- Real Madrid face off against Liverpool in the Champions League quarter finals on Tuesday in a clash of titans who together have won the competition 19 times.
Unlike their last clash in the 2018 final, which saw Real Madrid hoist a record third consecutive Champions League title, Zidane’s team lacks the dynamism in attack since Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus in 2019.
But they make their first appearance in the last-8 after a two-year absence hoping to extend an 11-match unbeaten run led by a red-hot Karim Benzema, who has scored nine goals in seven games.
The French striker has led a remarkable turnaround, particularly compared to the form the team showed in the early stages of the season that prompted pundits to write them off, both domestically – where they are now only 3 points off the pace – and in Europe.
“I have faith in my team and I know what they can do. We cannot change the past, only to do our work every day,” Zidane said during a press conference on the eve of the game.
Liverpool, who won their sixth Champions League in the 2018-19 season, will arrive in Madrid after earning a morale-boosting 3-0 win over Arsenal that revived their hopes of ending the season in the Premier League top-4.
The convincing win was a welcome respite for Reds’ coach Jürgen Klopp who has rediscovered balance in his starting lineup following months of failed experiments to replace the injured Virgil Van Dijk and Joel Matip that saw Liverpool fall down the league table.
New defensive signings Ozan Kabak and Nathaniel Phillips have allowed Fabinho and captain Jordan Henderson, initially deployed to fill the gaps at the back, to return to midfield, allowing the Reds to exert more control on games. EFE-EPA