LIVERPOOL V REAL MADRID
Tuesday 10 March 2009 19:45
Juande Ramos' side travel to Anfield with it all do after Yossi Benayoun headed home to secure a famous win at the Bernabeu in the first leg.
Things are still evenly balanced at the halfway stage in this last 16 tie, however, so expect both sides to be going for the jugular in a bid to secure that coveted quarter-final Champions League berth.
- Steven Gerrard will join Jamie Carragher in making 100 European appearances for Liverpool if he plays
- Pepe Reina could also make his 50th Liverpool European game against the Madrid giants, becoming the 18th player and only the second goalkeeper to do so after Ray Clemence
- In the seven two-legged ties in which Liverpool have faced Spanish opposition they have only lost once on aggregate. While Athletic Bilbao won due to a coin toss in 1968, Celta Vigo beat Liverpool both home and away in 1998/99. Current Real Madrid star Michel Salgado was part of the side that beat Liverpool
- In his final Madrid derby, Fernando Torres scored what was his first and, so far only, career goal against Real in February 2007
- Alvaro Arbeloa and Jamie Carragher are the only Liverpool players to have started all nine of their European games this season
- Out of the last nine two legged-ties against Spanish opposition, Liverpool have lost only once. That defeat came on March 6 2007 when Eidur Gudjohnsen scored late on to secure a victory for Barcelona at Anfield. But a fantastic 2-1 first-leg win in the Camp Nou meant that Liverpool won the tie overall
- Their last home win against Spanish opponents came in 2001 when a Gary McAllister penalty knocked Barcelona out of the UEFA Cup and sent Liverpool through to the final
- Liverpool have won 29 first legs away from home in Europe and have progressed to the next round on each of those 29 occasions
Even with the away goal this promises to be a tense night, but it should be a wonderful occasion for those lucky enough to be in the ground. Real are true footballing aristocrats and will be desperate to overturn the first leg deficit. They'll have nothing to lose and it will be interesting to see how aggressively they start the match.
If we play at our level we'll be through and it will be a truly memorable night. Torres to score against his bete noire.