MADRID: Liverpool will try to turn around their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie against Real Madrid on Thursday. But even before they could enter the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, Liverpool has received a huge blow as mid-fielders Jordan Henderson and Stefan Bajcetic will miss the Champions League action.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp revealed the situation of both players in the pre-match conference: “He (Stefan Bajcetic) is not available to play. He has a stress response, an adductor injury. He is out for, I don’t know, we’ll let it settle.” Henderson will also not feature due to illness, Klopp said.
Liverpool lost the first leg against Los Blancos by a score line of 5-2. In order to turn this tie around in their favour they will need to win by at least a margin of three goals. While many have already written off Liverpool even before the second leg, Klopp believes that they still have a chance because they have “nothing to lose.”
“We have nothing to lose, that is a better situation than whether we have to lose everything. The only problem is we can lose a football game, which is actually a really bad thing, we’ve felt that a couple of times this season already, so we don’t like that. If you don’t play a good football game here you don’t only lose, but you get a proper knock, because when they start enjoying the game that’s not a moment you should come into. I know what he [Ancelotti] is talking about [saying the pressure is on Madrid], but anyway I would prefer his situation, to have a bit of pressure to defend a three-goal lead, but it’s clear,” Klopp continued.
Even after the Reds lost their game against Bournemouth over the weekend, Real Madrid manager Caro Ancelotti still believes that Liverpool has the ability to turn the dynamics of this fixture. In the pre-match conference, he said, “The message is quite simple: not to assume,” said the Italian.
“The players understand that I think it will be an open match as Liverpool come here trying to change the dynamic. We have to do both things, attacking and defending, properly. We will not just defend, we are thinking about the attack,” Ancelotti ended.
Liverpool has a history of making a comeback in UCL in possibly the most dramatic fashions. Their second-leg comeback against Barcelona in 2019 and the miracle of Istanbul in 2005 are enough to put any team on their guard.
Likes of Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Cody Gakpo, Trent Alexander Arnold and Virgil Van Dijk could play a pivotal role in turning the tides of this tie. For Real Madrid Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior and Federico Valverde will put up a fight for the hosts. (ANI)