Illustrative photo – Liverpool v Real Madrid Champions League quarter-final second leg, Liverpool's Sadio Mane from right and Real's Federico Valverde and Eder Militao.
Liverpool/Frankfurt – In Tuesday's opening round of 16 of the Champions League, Liverpool's players will welcome defending champion Real Madrid in a repeat of last year's final. Also on Tuesday, reigning Europa League winners Napoli will be at the stadium of reigning Italian league leaders Napoli. Both matches kick-off at 21:00.
Photo gallery: Football Champions League 2022/23
Real have dominated the last two Champions League finals with Liverpool. Last year in Paris they won 1:0 with a goal from Vinícius Júnior and in 2018 they triumphed in Kyiv 3:1. The “White Ballet” did not lose to the English opponent six times in a row in the elite competition, winning five of them.
“We are looking forward. We will go to the game at Anfield in good shape and with maximum confidence,” the coach of the second team of the Spanish league, Carlo Ancelotti, who will miss the sick midfielders Toni Kroos and Aurélien Tchouameni, told reporters.
Liverpool in the group in the autumn started with a 1-4 defeat to Napoli but then went on to win five in a row. After a bad start to the new calendar year, the “Reds” won the last two league matches and improved to eighth place.
“We need to play two great games to progress. Real may not play brilliantly, but they will always have a chance. I am very happy that we are playing in the round of 16 now and not a few weeks ago. I expect Anfield to be on their feet,” said the Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp.
Naples lead the Italian league by 15 points and are within reach of their first title since 1990. Coach Luciano Spalletti's men also shone in the Champions League in the autumn, winning five out of six games and being the most productive with 20 goals team in the group stage.
“Eintracht are as strong as us. We have already watched and studied them. It will be a big challenge. You are under more pressure in such games, so it is much more difficult to play with ease and create chances ,” said Spalletti.
He has a lot of praise for the Serie A leaders in Frankfurt. “Napoli is not only strong in attack, they have a well-balanced team and concede few goals. They performed exceptionally in the group. They play with great intensity, aggressively, high pressing. We have to prepare for this,” said the coach of the sixth Bundesliga team, Oliver Glasner.
The rivals met twice in European cups in 1994 in the third round of the then UEFA Cup, Frankfurt won both games 1:0.