Real Madrid: Three keys to victory against Liverpool

Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Toni Kroos (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos
Real Madrid, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images) /

On Wednesday, Real Madrid will play their third big game on the trot in a space of eight days. They will face Liverpool in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, away at Anfield. Los Merengues won the first leg with a scoreline of 3-1, but the tie isn’t over yet and it will be an interesting encounter.

Before the Eibar game, Zidane said that fifteen finals are remaining in the season. Real Madrid has successfully completed three finals out of those fifteen finals, including the most recent Clasico win.  The upcoming game is their fourth final, and they will look to clear it as well.

But with a depleted squad and exhausted players, Real Madrid won’t find the game easy. They need to be wary of Liverpool at their home ground and fight for the whole of the ninety minutes to qualify for the semi-final.

So let us have a look at three keys to victory against Liverpool.

Win the midfield battle

It is not an exaggeration to say that Real Madrid has the best midfield in the whole of Europe at the moment. Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Casemiro have won three UEFA Champions League titles in a row, which is enough to make them a legendary trio. They have been brilliant this season, and the German, in particular, is in the form of his life. And the presence of the 22-year-old Fede Valverde further improves the quality of Real Madrid’s midfield.

In the first leg at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano, the midfield trio of Real Madrid outperformed the Liverpool midfield with ease, and each of Kroos and Modric claimed an assist to Vinicius Junior, to cap off a fantastic performance individually. But they are highly exhausted after the two continuous big games. Can they repeat the same performance on Wednesday?

Liverpool is popularly known for their Gegenpressing approach, but the highly press-resistant Kroos and Modric broke through the press with ease and made it difficult for Liverpool’s midfield to strip them off the ball. Klopp’s error in judgment and Liverpool’s lack of intensity in pressing can be criticised, but it was purely Real Madrid’s brilliance in the centre of the park that kept Liverpool at bay.

On Wednesday it’s very important for Real Madrid to win the midfield battle, and take over the control of the game. Liverpool has nothing to lose and they will try to make life difficult for Real Madrid by pressing high which may leave spaces at the back. Madrid’s midfield, particularly the blonde duo of Kroos and Modric will need to withstand the pressure, and look to take advantage of the spaces in behind Liverpool’s backline as they did last week.

And the presence of Marcelo or Fede Valverde will offer further control; the Uruguayan will be highly useful in pressing Liverpool and winning the ball back. It will be a chaotic game, but if Real Madrid manages to take control and frustrate Liverpool, it will definitely help them a lot.