3 Real Madrid players who could shine against Liverpool

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The Champions League round of 16 is always an exciting event for football fans all around the globe. It throws up mouth-watering match-ups for the neutrals; raises the stakes for the supporters regarding progression of their team and sometimes allows the players to settle scores from the past. The tie between Real Madrid and Liverpool has all those ingredients and more.

Liverpool have been already here before, as they tried to settle scores for the 3-1 defeat they had to endure in Kyiv in 2018, but to no avail. They lost last season’s final at the hands of Real Madrid as well.

This season’s Round of 16 tie between Liverpool and Real Madrid is one that has far too many reference points to digest. First up, the final is going to be at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium. The mere mention of Istanbul brings back memories of that famous comeback win and the Reds will find inspiration from it. The manager of the opposition on that fateful night in 2005, a certain Carlo Ancelotti. Whether the Italian himself is aiming for the final, to set the things right, will be an interesting subplot in itself.

Of course, this is a rematch of last season’s final. Real Madrid have defeated Liverpool twice in Champions League final over the past five seasons. The Reds are struggling in the league and their only hopes of salvaging the season are in Europe. On the other hand, Los Blancos’ La Liga hopes are slim as well and the cup with the big ears is always their big target in every campaign.

3 Real Madrid players who could shine against Liverpool

So, with all being said, here are the there Real Madrid players who could shine against Liverpool:

Thibaut Courtois

Real Madrid

Thibaut Courtois, Real Madrid. (Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images)

Who else than the guy who won the Man of the Match the last time these two giants locked horns. It was indeed a Superman display from the Belgian goalkeeper who made no less than 9 saves, a record in the final, last season.

Not much has changed since then about the performances of the Real Madrid shot stopper, despite a couple of injury problems this season.

The World Cup was a disaster for Belgium but Courtois did a decent job individually. He had won the Golden Glove for best goalkeeper last time around but this time, he could not prevent his national team from getting knocked out from the group stage.

An injury during the Club World Cup means that the Yashin trophy holder is well rested and ready to go coming in to the first leg against Liverpool. And Real Madrid need him more than ever.

Ever since he’s arrived in the Spanish capital, he has been a rock at the back. In earlier seasons he wasn’t acknowledged as much, but that has changed since the heroics at Stade de France.

The Real Madrid defence has leaked goals every now and then. At no point this season, have they looked confident of keeping a clean sheet all by themselves, without the intervention from the goalkeepers.

In the Champions League alone, Real Madrid have conceded 6 times in 6 games. Currently there is no set back four in front of him which might affect any other goalkeeper. But nothing seems to faze Courtois. And getting past him will be a challenge for Liverpool. One that they failed to overcome last time around.

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