Welcome to SunSport’s live coverage of the Champions League quarter-final first leg tie between Real Madrid and Liverpool.
We’re in the Spanish capital as two of the most successful club sides in European football history face off again as the champions of their respective countries – and while neither are enjoying the best of title defences domestically, the opportunity to rule the continent is presenting itself once again.
This evening’s game marks a first meeting since the 2018 final when Madrid’s 13th European title was most unlucky for Liverpool.
On a night to forget for the Anfield club, Gareth Bale’s overhead kick and Loris Karius’ blunders ensured a 3-1 success for the Spaniards after Mohamed Salah had departed early, injured and in tears, at the hands of Sergio Ramos.
If the Premier League side have been waiting for revenge, then they will have to take it out on the opposition and not the individual. A calf injury sustained on recent international duty has ensured Real captain Ramos will miss out on a reunion with the Reds.
And Los Blancos suffered a further blow this morning with the news that Raphael Varane has tested positive for Covid-19, meaning Zinedine Zidane will be without his two first-choice central defenders.
Liverpool, of course, have had centre-back issues of their own this season, but the rookie pairing of Nathaniel Phillips and Ozak Kabak have begun to find their feet in the middle of Jurgen Klopp’s back four.
The defensive partnership have been key in clocking up three successive wins and clean sheets in all competitions, most recently during Saturday’s 3-0 victory at Arsenal.
Klopp will have the same squad to select from in Spain, but remains without long-term absentees Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk.
We’ll bring you confirmation of tonight’s teams shortly as part of our pre-match build-up before the action gets underway at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano at 8pm.
This post first appeared on The Sun