Real Madrid and Liverpool meet for the first leg of their Uefa Champions League quarter-final tie on Tuesday at the Santiago Bernabeu.
It’s a rematch of the 2018 UCL final, when Los Blancos battled their way to a 3-1 victory in Kyiv, notching an incredible fourth Champions League title in five seasons.
The Reds went one better in the Spanish capital a year later, claiming their sixth European crown at the Metropolitano Stadium with victory over fellow English Premier League side Tottenham.
Zinedine Zidane’s side came through their last 16 clash with Serie A side Atalanta comfortably enough, with a 3-1 second leg success at the Bernabeu seeing them through 4-1 on aggregate.
Jurgen Klopp’s men fared even better against RB Leipzig, putting aside the woes of their crumpled EPL title defence.
Both legs of their first knockout round clash were moved to the Puskas Arena in Budapest thanks to Covid-19 restrictions and the English champions made the best of it, recording a brace of 2-0 victories in Hungary.
A host of star names are missing for both sides as they bid to reach the semi-finals.
Eden Hazard and Sergio Ramos are both ruled out for Real, with the latter picking up a calf injury on international duty with Spain.
Defender Raphael Varane is a late withdrawal form the squad having tested positive for Covid-19.
Dani Carvajal and Federico Valverde are also sidelined, although Toni Kroos looks to have returned to fitness without a hitch and Casemiro can slot back in following his European ban.
The visitors have a gaping hole in the heart of defence caused by long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
Captain Jordan Henderson is also crocked, as is Divock Origi, with the Reds at least buoyed by the sparkling form of Portuguese striker Diogo Jota as they hunt for a crucial away goal on the continent.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool: Prediction
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool: UCL starting XI prediction
Probable Real Madrid Starting XI: Thibaut Courtois, Lucas Vazquez, Eder Militao, Nacho, Ferland Mendy, Luka Modric, Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Marco Asensio, Karim Benzema, Vinicius Junior.
Probable Liverpool Starting XI: Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Nathaniel Phillips, Ozan Kabak, Andy Robertson, Thiago, Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum, Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota, Sadio Mane.