The stage is set for the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals as Real Madrid takes on Liverpool at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium on Wednesday night. Ahead of the crucial match, both teams have named their starting XIs, with Real Madrid having to make a few notable changes.
The biggest news for Real Madrid fans is that star striker Karim Benzema is fit and ready to play after missing several games with an injury. The Frenchman is one of the most important players for Real Madrid, having scored 26 goals in all competitions this season. With Benzema back in the starting lineup, Real Madrid will be hoping to finish off the tie and progress to the semifinals.
However, Real Madrid will be without one of their other new signings, David Alaba, who misses out due to injury. The Austrian defender has been a key player for Real Madrid this season, and his absence could be a blow for the team’s defense. Despite Alaba’s absence, Real Madrid will still field a strong backline that includes Dani Carvajal, Raphael Varane, Nacho Fernandez, and Ferland Mendy.
In midfield, Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has opted for a strong lineup that includes Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, and Casemiro. The trio has been among the best midfielders in Europe this season and will be looking to control the game against Liverpool.
Meanwhile, Liverpool has named a starting XI that includes a few surprises. Jurgen Klopp has decided to start with Naby Keita in midfield, despite the midfielder’s lack of game time this season. Keita has been plagued by injuries this season and has made just nine appearances for Liverpool in all competitions.
In attack, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino will start for Liverpool, with Diogo Jota dropping to the bench. Jota scored in the first leg, but Klopp has opted for the tried and tested trio that has helped Liverpool win the Champions League before.
Overall, both Real Madrid and Liverpool have picked strong starting XIs for the crucial second leg. The match promises to be a thrilling encounter, with both teams looking to progress to the semifinals. Real Madrid has an advantage going into the game, having won the first leg 3-1 at Anfield. However, Liverpool has the quality to cause an upset and will be hoping to overturn the deficit and progress to the next round.