One Liverpool player could be handed a surprise start against Real Madrid

Liverpool Midfielder James Milner faces widespread media criticism amid a string of poor performances.

Source: The Liverpool Offside

The clash between Real Madrid and Liverpool is always highly anticipated and highly intense. These two European giants have met many times before, and each time they have delivered an enthralling spectacle.

Los Blancos will host the Reds at the Santiago Bernabeu with a three-goal advantage in the first leg of the thrilling Round of 16 encounters of the UEFA Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp’s side suffered a humiliating 2-5 loss at Anfield in the 1st leg, leaving a mountain to climb at the Santiago Bernabéu. Even the lack of the away goals rule this season is scant consolation for Liverpool.

As Van Dijk has stated,

“We have almost an impossible job in Madrid in three weeks’ time”

Liverpool injury blow against Madrid

The already subject-to-concern Liverpool midfield is adding more worries to Klopp with injuries being piled up ahead of this high-voltage match.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson will take no part in their Champions League round of 16 2nd leg match against Real Madrid due to illness.

The midfielder hasn’t travelled with the team in Madrid as the Reds have already landed in the Spanish capital for their Wednesday clash. The Liverpool captain also missed the training on Tuesday at the AXA training centre due to illness.

Compounding Jurgen Klopp’s headache ahead of this crucial match, young midfielder Stefan Bajcetic will also be absent against Real Madrid due to an ongoing stress adductor problem.

The midfielder travelled to Madrid but has been ruled out of the match. With both Bajcetic and Henderson out while Thiago Alcantara is already sidelined with a hip problem, it will be among Naby Keita, Harvey Elliott, and James Milner as midfield options available for Klopp.

Possible midfield lineup

Fabinho accompanied Klopp for his pre-match press duties. The Brazilian is expected to hold his position in the central field. Elliot has been in spectacular form in recent weeks.

Therefore, a more defensive option is needed alongside the 19-year-old british attacking midfielder. An experienced defensive midfielder will be needed to keep the ball at bay from the likes of Vinícius Jr. and Valverde.

Keita has been out of favour of Klopp in recent times. Thus, Milner gets a slight edge over him. It looks like the Englishman is expected to accompany Fabinho and captain Liverpool tonight.

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