Real Madrid take on Liverpool in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie and will be depending on the fine form of their ‘Fab Four’ of Luka Modric, Vinicius, Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema.
Jurgen Klopp will need to be especially wary of this quartet in the match at Anfield.
Modric relishes a challenge
Modric always speaks with clarity and this Tuesday, at a press conference prior to the game, he expressed his opinion that playing Liverpool at Anfield without fans may benefit Real Madrid, but he would prefer to play in front of a sell-out crowd.
“We are playing a match at the business end of the competition, I would prefer to play in front of a packed Anfield,” Modric said.
“We know that it is going to be very difficult, but we are going to take the match by the horns. We’re not coming to defend, we’re coming to win.”
Vinicius is the threat for Klopp and Alexander-Arnold
Vinicius was one of the best performers in the first leg and was a real thorn in the side of Trent Alexander-Arnold.
“I was impressed, not surprised, as everyone knows why Real Madrid signed him,” Jurgen Klopp said when asked about the Brazilian in his pre-match press conference, before explaining how Vinicius made Real Madrid‘s first goal almost unstoppable.
Praise for Kroos
Liverpool know that their chances of going through hinge on cancelling out Kroos‘ effectiveness.
The German assisted Vinicius for the first goal of the first leg and Klopp heaped a lot of praise on his fellow countryman.
“He has been one of the biggest talents in German football for a long, long time,” Klopp said, going on to compare him to Bernd Schuster, who also played for Real Madrid.
Benzema is out to add to his legacy
Benzema has now played 17 seasons in the Champions League, the same amount as Lionel Messi, and he can make more history if he scores at Anfield.
If he scores, he will match Raul‘s tally of 71 goals in the Champions League and will then only be behind Cristiano Ronaldo (134 goals), Messi (120) goals and Robert Lewandowski (73).