Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo Goes need to be ruthless
The question of who starts on the right wing remains unclear for Real Madrid, because the are compelling reasons to go with Fede Valverde or Rodrygo. Based on the success of the formula in the Champions League thus far, Fede should keep starting to give that running and defensive cover, with Rodrygo coming off the bench to provide extra attacking quality and creativity when (or if) that is needed in the second half.
But regardless of when he plays, Rodrygo is going to be a key man for Real Madrid, given how clutch he has been in multiple Champions League matches this season.
Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo must be ruthless against Liverpool. These young wingers will be counted on to make the right decisions, thread the right passes, and take the initiative off-the-ball to destabilize the Reds’ defense.
Most importantly, Rodrygo and Vini must take their chances, with the onus being on Vini as the team’s second-leading goal-scorer. Karim Benzema may have to play a more facilitative role, and it will be up to Vini and Rodrygo to convert the chances that will be out there for them.
Because there will be chances. Great ones, in fact. Liverpool will not play like cowards. Far from it. The “heavy metal football” Jurgen Klopp espouses will lead to them taking risks, and so Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr. will get a few clear-cut opportunities. But the Reds are an elite team with elite defensive players. Those chances will not be copious. Real Madrid must take them.