Despite Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema’s absence in Saturday’s encounter, Real Madrid fired harsh warnings to Liverpool and Barcelona ahead of their up-coming features. Real tore apart a Valencia based side Levante in a 5-0 encounter which saw the in-form Ronaldo score a brace.
With a humiliating historic 5-0 defeat hanging over Real Madrid, the Spanish capital will look to return the favour to a Liverpool side that saw an all expensive ‘Galaticos’ Madrid fall both at home and away to a Steven Gerard side in 2008/09 round of 16 match-up.
With both clubs winning their respective domestic league matches at the weekend, and 5 goals each in both matches, a Cristiano Ronaldo inspired side may cause the havoc for The Reds.
Here are five reasons why Real Madrid will likely beat Liverpool in the Wednesday UEFA Champions’ League Group Stage encounter.
Liverpool Injury Crises: Liverpool face series of injury woes as they go into the game on Wednesday, and that could spell problem as QPR exploited a short-staffed Liverpool side. With several players reportedly injured and their main threat Daniel Sturridge out of action, Madrid will look to take advantage of Brendan Rodgers’ predicament by sending his players all out at Anfield.
Though Real Madrid face similar a challenge as The Reds, but the Los Blancos squad is of more quality when compared. Bale, Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema might miss the clash after picking up niggling injuries; one which saw them watch the Levante demolition from the sides.
Despite the injury crisis, Ancelotti announced that the trio are fit but he may risk using them or have them watch from the bench as they prepare for Saturday el-clasico against arch rivals, Barcelona.
Rodgers side will endure a 90 minute match against an attacking and well-motivated squad on Wednesday.
Mignolet indecisive performances: The Liverpool goalkeeper is anything but a force to be reckoned with this season. Despite QPR scoring two own goals to put The Reds at an advantage, the goalkeeper fumbled severally to see the Rangers get two goals from him. While it would be right to say Madrid and Liverpool share the same goalkeeping problems, a defensive, though sometimes sloppy Madrid defence would keep the Reds’ attacking force at bay, but the same cannot be said for Rodgers’ side that have lost several of their players to injuries. And except the goalkeeper puts up a sensational performance against a fearsome attacking side as Madrid, Liverpool’s chance of proceeding to the next phase of the Champions League should be laid to rest, after suffering a shocking defeat to Switzerland Champions Basel.
Real Madrid Attacking Strength: Los Blancos currently boasts of the most attacking side in Europe. The Spanish outfit has a 3.75 rate of goals per match, a feat no other club in Europe has matched so far. Despite the Absence of Bale and Benzema in the 5-0 thriller against a helpless Levante, Los Blancos strolled comfortably out of the match having garnered all three points of the game. James Rodriguez, Isco and Javier Hernandez all found the back of the net alongside Ronaldo who scored two goals.
Madrid’s present attacking strength seems unstoppable, not with a Liverpool side who are currently riddled with challenges. Real Madrid have maintained 6 points in all Champions League match this term after thrashing Basel 5-0 and cutting a resolute Ludogorets which saw the Whites win in a 1-2 encounter.
Statistics: Statistics can be deceiving in most cases but the present statistics between both clubs tell a lot. Real Madrid sit at 3rd with 18 points in 8 games, having won six matches and losing to both City rivals Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad. The whites have scored over 30 goals in all competition this season. Liverpool, on the other hand have scored 14 goals in all competition, averaging 1.4 goals per match, as opposed to Real’s 3.75 goals. Statistics, though have a way of denting the game but it does serve as a reminder to the respective teams and a factor in determining what the outcome of a match would be even before it is played.
The CR 7 Factor: If there is one player who would give Rodgers sleepless nights before Wednesday, it is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese ace has been in sublime form this season, scoring 19 goals in 12 games. ‘Insane’ statistics have suggested that Ronaldo has more goals than the whole of Liverpool squad put together. With his current form and the defensive problem that has been responsible for Liverpool’s erratic performances over the past few weeks, the Ancelotti’s main man may prove to be too difficult for The Reds to handle.
The 29-year old attacker has been tipped to win the Ballon d’Or for the third after leading Real to a glorious Champions League victory last season. And while it seems that Ronaldo cannot be stopped by defenders, CR7 has taken the pain to score goals just for the fun of it. The unstoppable attacker looks set to exploit a helpless Liverpool defence in order to add to his tally.
A frustrated Jamie Carragher after weekend’s match between QPR and Liverpool said:
“Liverpool must be the worst side in the league at defending set pieces this season when you look at how many goals they have conceded. Liverpool have won, ok, but they are still weak defensively.
“With Real Madrid on Wednesday – I wonder what Carlo Ancelotti and Cristiano are thinking while watching!”
With the absence of Bale and Benzema to form the BBC triumvirate, it could be right to say Ronaldo can handle the situation at Anfield. While it would be wrong to describe Liverpool as an underdog, a revenge mission might not just happen on Wednesday night; the stage looks set for Ronaldo to show the world that he will score against another English club, just like he has done with Manchester United and Manchester City and with Chelsea at the last two pre-season encounter where he silenced Mourinho.