The UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second-leg matches continues on Wednesday with a delicious double-header on the menu. Runaway Italian Serie A leaders Napoli enjoy a home advantage over last season’s Europa League champions Eintracht Frankfurt who beat Rangers on penalties in the final. The Italians won 2-0 in Germany and now look to have one foot in the next round.
The main event of the evening comes from Spain, where La Liga champions Real Madrid play English Premier League runners-up Liverpool from 20:00 GMT. This may be a Round of 16 game with the pair clashing in the first knockout round, but it is a repeat of last season’s final. Real Madrid and Liverpool are experienced in blazing a trail of glory to the trophy. But there’s only room for one of these sides in the next round. Will Blancos do as expected and progress at home, or should we prepare for another thrilling comeback from Liverpool?
The stats sheet attached to this most famous fixture show Real Madrid and Liverpool have met ten times previously, with the Spaniards enjoying the lion’s share of wins. Madrid has six wins on the board, with Liverpool collecting only three victories and one game ending in a draw. The home team is firm favorites with the top pundits to win this game and progress following that emphatic performance at Anfield in the first leg. Will Real Madrid do the double over Liverpool? Keep reading to find out.
Blancos have one foot in the next round
Real Madrid knew they had a tough job on their hands when visiting Liverpool for the first leg at Anfield. Things didn’t go according to plan during the early exchanges of that match, with the Reds racing into a 2-0 lead. Madrid was rocked, and as the home fans grew in confidence, it looked like it may be a tough day at the office for the Spanish champions and their followers. But things change in football quickly. Madrid responded to shock their opponents with five stunning goals.
Madrid ended that match in England as 5-2 winners, meaning they are almost through to the next round. There is no away goal in force this year, meaning this remains a three-goal match. If Real Madrid loses the game by three or more goals, they’ll be eliminated, regardless of how good they were on Merseyside. Losing three goals at home from such a comfortable position would be a disaster for Madrid.
Extra time and penalties are available if required to settle this game. That means we will be left with one team progressing to the next phase while the other will be sent packing. Real Madrid is the favourite, and that will come as no great shock to those who watched the first leg. Madrid fought back from two goals down to score five, and this team has plenty more goals to give. They could score an emphatic aggregate win over a top opponent, which would do wonders for their confidence.
Reds must strike first
Liverpool may have started well against Madrid in the first leg, but they were demolished by a slick team that took its chances. It was a horrible night at the office for the Reds and their supporters, but no one connected to Jurgen Klopp’s team will be eager to throw in the towel just yet. Liverpool knows if they come to Madrid and get the first goal, it will throw this tie back into the mix. After scoring the first two goals in England, a repeat performance would make for an intriguing second leg.
The visitors warmed up for this clash with an English Premier League match against AFC Bournemouth on the road, and it was a game they were expected to win. But Liverpool again suffered a shock loss, beaten 1-0 by the Cherries, who have played fantastic football this season. Did Klopp have one eye on this game, or was it another woeful showing from a club that’s painfully low on confidence? We won’t know until this game kicks off and Liverpool either goes on the attack or crumble.
Their recent results in the league show that Liverpool has won only two of their last four games, losing one and drawing the other. They remain in the running for a top-four finish and entry into next season’s Champions League, but time is running out to close the gap on fourth-placed Spurs, who are already six points off in the distance. It has been a challenging campaign, but nothing has been decided yet.
Real Madrid v Liverpool prediction
The manner in which Real Madrid beat Liverpool in the first leg, scoring five goals on the road, suggests they are good enough to progress. Will they aim to stay within that three-goal cushion or push for more goals? On their patch, the La Liga champions could go for the killer blow and embarrass their opponents, making a statement in the process.
Champions League odds
The pre-match betting odds are available at 22Bet, where you’ll find over 100 markets available, including match winner and first goalscorer. Real Madrid can be backed at odds of 2.248 while Liverpool is 2.88 and the draw 3.84.
Make sure to bet on Real Madrid v Liverpool with 22Bet!