The Liverpool lineup that should start against Real Madrid

13 April 2021 04:00

A win against Aston Villa in the Premier League is great and all, but focus now turns to overcoming a first leg deficit in the Champions League for Liverpool.

The Reds made a poor account of themselves against Real Madrid in the first leg of their quarter-final and now have a big mountain to climb to overcome a 3-1 aggregate scoreline and progress into the last four.

Jurgen Klopp's side have been weakened by injuries this season of course, but there is still enough quality available to let loose and put their singular away goal to use.

Here's how Liverpool should line up against Los Blancos on Wednesday.

1. Goalkeeper & defenders

Bring back the moustache | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Alisson (GK) - A shaky season continued at the weekend with a couple of mistakes, but Alisson is the man for the big occasion. Probably should've kept the moustache, though.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) - Was torn to shreds in the first leg, but the positive here is that there is no way in hell that he or Klopp are willing to let that happen again. Surely.

Nathaniel Phillips (CB) - Thrived at home against Villa at the weekend and can do the same again against Real Madrid on Wednesday. Nat Phillips on home turf is a force to be reckoned with (imagine saying that 12 months ago).

Ozan Kabak (CB) - Injuries mean the youthful duo have been thrown in at the very deep end, but it's all a great learning experience. Kabak has impressed and can only benefit from another game against top opposition.

Andy Robertson (LB) - In a side struggling for fitness, Robertson's reliability must be acknowledged. But he will need to improve on his first leg performance here.

2. Midfielders

Thiago must start for Liverpool | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Fabinho (DM) - A case could be made to drop the Brazilian into defence for extra security, but that then leaves Real's impeccable midfield with even more room to operate in.

Thiago Alcantara (CM) - With Naby Keita hooked before the end of the first half in the first leg, it's fair to say that the Champions League-winning Thiago returns to the XI for this one.

Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) - The Dutchman has to show more attacking thrust with nothing to lose on Wednesday, and can be useful in exploiting a rocky Real defence.

3. Forwards

Bobby is back. | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Mohamed Salah (RW) - Liverpool's magic man will be expected to put in a big shift if they want any hope of somehow progressing beyond the last eight, but his first leg goal gives them a glimmer of hope.

Roberto Firmino (ST) - Leaving out Firmino in the first leg harmed Liverpool's ability to press effectively and ultimately left them wide open at times. He has to return to the XI.

Sadio Mane (LW) - He hasn't been in the finest of form by any means, but Mane was rested at the weekend and you'd back him to be able to turn things around.

Source: 90min