Real Madrid take on Liverpool tonight in the fourth match of the group stage in the Champions League knowing that a win over the Reds will ensure their place in the last-16 of the competition with two games to spare.
Carlo Ancelotti’s team won 3-0 at Anfield two weeks ago in a devastating display of attacking football, and his players are after their 12th consecutive win in all competitions this evening. Their remarkable run has seen them overhaul Barcelona at the summit of La Liga.
In Cristiano Ronaldo, Los Blancos have a man at the very top of his game right now. The 29-year-old seems to reach new levels every match he plays. He has scored in his last 12 appearances, and is just one goal short of Raul’s record as the top scorer in the history of the Champions League.
In team news, Gareth Bale is fit again and could play after missing the past four matches, meaning a return of the fearsome BBC in the Real attack – Bale, Benzema and Cristiano.
For Liverpool, there was some speculation in the press that Steven Gerrard could be rested in a somewhat sensational move by Brendan Rodgers. How likely that is to happen remains to be seen. Daniel Sturridge has traveled to Madrid but is unlikely to start having not featured for the first team in two months.
Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Ramos, Pepe, Marcelo; Modric, Kroos, Rodriguez; Bale, Benzema, Ronaldo
Liverpool: Mignolet; Johnson, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno; Sterling, Henderson, Gerrard, Can, Moutinho; Balotelli