Real Madrid welcome Liverpool to the Santiago Bernabéu after a commanding 5-2 comeback win in the first-leg placed them on the cusp of ending their visitors UEFA Champions League (UCL) dreams for a third successive season.
That was Madrid’s sixth win in the last seven meetings (D1) between the two continental juggernauts, a run that includes last season’s UCL final which captured the Spanish giants a record-extending 14th European Cup/UCL crown.
Carlo Ancelotti’s men have performed uncharacteristically since that whopping win at Anfield though, with their 3-1 success against Espanyol at the weekend being their only win in the four subsequent matches (D2, L1).
Despite that form, history is firmly on their side here as out of the 37 ties in UEFA competition where Real Madrid were victorious in the first-leg away from home, they’ve failed to progress to the next stage only twice!
It would therefore take a monumental Liverpool effort to ruin Madrid’s 300th UCL game (the first club to reach the milestone), but the task at hand isn’t completely foreign to the Merseysiders.
They’re one of just four teams to have overturned a UCL first-leg deficit of 3+ goals, doing so against Madrid’s fierce rivals Barcelona on route to their sixth European Cup/UCL in 2018/19, though that famous night did come at Anfield.
The Reds will need to emulate a performance likened to their second-leg display in the 2008/09 UCL last 16, where they inflicted what is still Madrid’s heaviest UCL defeat with a 4-0 win.
Coming off a 1-0 loss to Premier League strugglers Bournemouth provides the worst possible curtain-raiser for manager Jürgen Klopp though, whose history against Carlo Ancelotti doesn’t serve to inspire either (W3, D3, L6).
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