Ronaldo To Add To Liverpool’s Defensive WoesStats
Real Madrid v Liverpool
After easing to victory at Anfield in their clash a fortnight ago, Real Madrid host Liverpool in the Champions League with a win all but assuring the European champions of top spot in the group.
A 4-0 win away at Granada on Saturday put Real Madrid top of La Liga for the first time this season and made it an 11th victory on the bounce for Carlo Ancelloti’s side. Their big summer signing and World Cup golden boot winner James Rodriguez scored twice in the weekend win, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema grabbing the others, and Los Meringues have now scored an astonishing 37 goals in the league this season. They’ve also a 100 percent record in the Champions League with three wins from three, scoring ten goals en route and are unbeaten in 18 home matches in the competition, winning 16 of them.
The irrepressible Ronaldo has now scored 20 goals for Real this season, and found the back of the net in each of his past 13 games for club and country, including three hat-tricks.
Liverpool suffered a fourth league defeat in ten this season when they went down 1-0 to Newcastle United at St James’s Park on Saturday afternoon when substitute Ayoze Perez scored the only goal of the game – a second winner in successive weeks for the Spaniard.
Brendan Rodgers’ men are now in seventh spot in the Premier League on 14 points, 12 adrift of runaway leaders Chelsea with the league title they came so close to winning last season already beyond them. They’ve won just once from their three Champions League games too, a nervy victory in their first game against Ludogorets, and are in a three-way battle for second spot with the Bulgarians and Basel.
Raheem Sterling and Steven Gerrard lead the way in the goalscoring stakes for the Reds with three.
World record signing Gareth Bale is set to miss out for Real as he has done for the past four games, while full-backs Daniel Carvajal and Fabio Coentrao also absent through injury. Young forward Jese is also expected to sit it out with a knee problem.
Daniel Sturridge is still missing for Liverpool with a thigh injury and the striker’s goals and pace have been sorely missed by his side. Defensive duo Jon Flanagan and Mamadou Sakho are also out while Spanish attacker Suso is expected to miss the return to his homeland with a groin problem.
Head to Head
Real coasted to a 3-0 win in the reverse fixture two weeks ago, with Benzema grabbing a brace after Ronaldo’s obligatory strike had opened the scoring, with all goals coming in the first half for the visitors, who were able to ease off after the interval with one eye on the looming Clasico. Liverpool have won all three of the other clashes between the teams though, without conceding a goal.
It’s difficult to know what way Rodgers will set out his team for this game as if they take on Madrid they could be humiliated and with confidence already fragile that could spell disaster, although he’s not a coach familiar with trying to keep things tight either.
2/5 on a Real win with Ronaldo scoring looks likely but hardly great value although the 8/13 on Real to lead at half-time and full-time has potential while the 7/5 on the World Player of the Year to score 2 or more looks possibly the best of the punts priced at odds-against.