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Real Madrid host Liverpool in the first match of the Champions League quarter-finals. It is one of the most interesting games, a clash between two clubs with plenty of history between them. Real are 13-time winners of the competition, the most successful side in Europe. They are in excellent form in the last period. La Liga Giants have won three league matches in a row, scoring seven goals during that spell. Real beat Elche with 2:1, beat Celta Vigo with 3:1 and beat Eibar with 2:0 in Primera Division. In addition, they won twice against Atalanta in the Champions League, 1:0 in Bergamo and 3:1 in Madrid. Karim Benzema is in excellent form scoring 23 goals in the domestic La Liga and Champions League. The domestic title looked out of reach, but a series of positive results, combined with Atletico Madrid's misery, moved them within three points of the first place. Zidane will be without the captain Sergio Ramos due to a calf problem. His absence is a huge handicap. In addition, this match is expected to come too soon for Dani Carvajal and Federico Valverde. On the positive note, Eden Hazard has recovered from a muscular problem and could be involved in this match.
Champions League is very important for Liverpool. Manchester City are clear favorites for the Premier League title, so this is the only chance for silverware this season. It was a disaster how the Reds played in 2021. This is the biggest crisis in the club's history. Liverpool look a long way from the team that won the title last season and the Champions League before. Jurgen Klopp's men have lost six of the last 11 matches across all competitions. The atmosphere in the squad is poor, while the players confidence is lost. According to me, there is a reason for the poor results - the key defenders have suffered severe injuries. Virgil van Dijk suffered a knee-ligaments injury in September and missed the remaining season. Only his absence is a huge handicap, but there's more - the other two central defenders Joe Gomez and Joel Matip are also long-term injury victims. It is a big problem. Missing a midfielder or striker is a problem, but missing central defender is an enormous handicap. New man usually need time to become familiar with other defenders and with the style. A moment of late reaction means there is no offside and potential goal opportunity for the opponents. And imagine all three central defenders are injured, that's a huge handicap. The absence of captain Jordan Henderson is another problem.
Real Madrid vs. Liverpool Prediction:
Real recorded a 3:1 win when these two sides last met in the 2018 Champions League final. I believe they will win again. The key reason for my pick is connect with Liverpool. The Reds are still without key defenders, but they are weakened in the midfield too as captain Henderson is also out injured. Modric, Casemiro and Kroos should dominate, while I see no chance for Phillips and Kabak to stop Benzema.
Real Madrid vs. Liverpool Pick: Real Madrid @ 2.80 with Unibet
They are in form, getting a five-match in recent games. Now they are sitting the first place in the table of English Premier League, 14 points ahead of the second. So they are able to devote themselves on UEFA Champions League.
They have been thought lack of ambitions because they lose to Eintracht Frankfurt in last game. It is because their key player, Erling Haland is going to transfer. What’s worse, Jadon Sancho and Axel Witsel still suffer from injuries.
Although Manchester City take the lower hand over Borussia Dortmund in past head-to-head clashes with a record of 2W-3L, Man City have made great progress this season. In addition, Borussia Dortmund are in poor state. Undoubtedly Man City are going to win.