Liverpool have set off for their final stop in their grand European tour with the
Liverpool's rampaging front three will hope to render Real Madrid's defence useless with a combination of relentless pace, aggression and pressure.
Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah's mastery is enough to scramble the experienced but ageing backline of Zinedine Zidane's side, where they are expected to add to their astonishing total of 29 goals in Europe this term.
It’s natural to fear Madrid, but this Liverpool side are capable of destroying any defence. We play our way, high energy, high press and we have every chance of the highest reward.— Rory Greenfield (@RoryGreenfield) May 21, 2018
Whilst the three red arrows are enough to haunt any defender, the only fear lies in the lack of options Klopp has off the bench. The Reds possess no real game changer as Danny Ings and Dominic Solanke are expected to take the bench, both of whom have combined for just two goals this season.
The hope is that Klopp will not need to dwell on his lack of options, but when Real Madrid have the likes of Asensio, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Isco to call upon, it becomes apparent that Liverpool need to take a stranglehold in proceedings early if they are to limit their oppositions' strength in numbers.
Like the attack, the defensive five are primed and ready to go. Many onlookers still harbour the thoughts that the Reds are wretched in shutting out the opposition, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Only Manchester City conceded fewer shots per 90 minutes than Liverpool's 7.4 in the Premier League this season, where they conceded just 27 goals in 32 games when Loris Karius has started in all competitions - and 38 in total across the entire league season.
There is no doubt that this will be one of their fiercest tests yet, but as a collective unit the Red's defence has failed to look stronger than it is right now with Karius, Virgil Van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson all flying the flag.
Consistency has enabled the five to establish a finely tuned working relationship which combines aerial prowess with pace, power and quality in possession - with the Dutch centre back's arrival in January the catalyst for their success on the European stage.
Amount of morons that don’t want Emre Can involved in Kiev is mental.— Jack Lusby (@jacklusby_) May 21, 2018
Don’t understand why he wants to leave either but there’s a reason why one of the best sides in Europe are signing him.
Ultimately, the first 10-15 minutes will be crucial for Liverpool as they adjust to an unfamiliar environment and occasion, and should they come out of that period unscathed Real Madrid should be fearing the worst.
After all no one has ever called