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Liverpool face the daunting task of a trip to the Champions League holders Real Madrid on Tuesday evening, with the news that club captain Steven Gerrard will be rested for the game.
The pair met in the last round of fixtures and Real Madrid were simply too good at Anfield recording a 3-0 win. A superb Cristiano Ronaldo effort opened the scoring, before Karim Benzema added two more before the break, and a similar outcome is expected tonight.
Real Madrid have won 11 consecutive fixtures in all competitions and went top of La Liga for the first time on the weekend, and are playing some of their best football of the season as they charge to the top of the table.
James Rodriguez scored twice in a 4-0 victory away to Granada, with Carlo Ancelotti’s men in ominous form.
Liverpool themselves slipped further off the title pace, going down to a 1-0 defeat away to an improving Newcastle, and there are obvious problems in front of goal, as well as at the back as a once solid Liverpool defence looks a little brittle.
Substitute Ayoze Perez scored the game’s only goal, seizing upon a defensive error from Alberto Moreno and with Real Madrid and Ronaldo destroying all before them at the moment there must be fears for the Kop faithful as they visit the Santiago Bernabeu.
Liverpool are one of three sides on three points in the group, with Madrid clear at the top with three wins from three.
The other game in the group on Tuesday see’s FC Basel host PFC Ludogorets.
The only change to the Madrid line up from the one that won at Anfield is likely to see Dani Carvjal replace the former Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa.
Gareth Bale is free from injury, however is likely to make his comeback off the bench, meaning Isco will continue.
Liverpool could drop an out of form Mario Balotelli and play Raheem Sterling through the middle, like they did for the final 45 minutes a fortnight ago, while Steven Gerrard is sure to be rested in a dramatic statement by Brendan Rogers.
Emre Can and Joe Allen will battle it out for the final central midfield role, with the former Bayer Leverkusen man favourite to start.
Daniel Sturridge has travelled to Madrid, however the striker isn’t fit according to Brendan Rodgers.