Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has provided his thoughts on his side's Champions League draw with Liverpool in the quarter-finals of the competition, and insisted that the tie will be "demanding" despite the Reds' struggles in the Premier League this season.
Madrid will welcome Liverpool to the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano for the first leg before heading to Anfield for the reverse fixture, setting up a rematch of the 2017-18 final. Both sides have struggled to perform their best in their respective leagues until now; Liverpool have dropped out of the title race and are fighting to finish in the top four, while Zidane's men find themselves third on the LaLiga table, two points behind Barcelona and six behind league-leaders Atletico Madrid.
And the Spaniard insisted he is refusing to take his eye off the ball and warned that his side will not be taking their opponent lightly. "We know the difficulties of a game against Liverpool," the Frenchman said in his pre-match press conference following Friday's draw.
Zidane added, "We cannot say that it is a bad draw or that it is a good draw. Liverpool are a team that, in a tie, can play their ace at any given moment. But that is the same as us. It will be a good match between two teams that have won many Champions League trophies between them. At this level, it is always very difficult to win."
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp had a similar reaction to the draw, and admitted he is eager to take yet another crack at the LaLiga giants. He said: "It’s exciting, exciting. It’s obviously a tough draw but I am fine with it because if you look at all the other teams you think, ‘Oh my god’ because they are all strong and all have quality, that’s clear. I am really looking forward to the games.
The French coach concluded, “I know it’s a different round and whatever and we don’t know where we will play and stuff like this, but that’s all OK. If it will be Budapest, that’s fine. We are fine with that. The home game maybe hopefully at Anfield, that would be great as well. So, no, nothing bad to say – nothing bad to say actually, it’s just cool.”