Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, has predicted a “hurricane on the field” when his side clash with Real Madrid at Anfield on Wednesday night UEFA Champions League (UCL) tie.
Two of the great names of European Cup football meet on match-day three when the Reds host the defending champions in Group B.
And Rodgers expects an explosive game.
“The hurricane will be on the field, for sure,” he said.
“Both teams will be looking to win the game, both teams will be working hard to get the points and we are really looking forward to the challenge.
“Real Madrid have great players, but I also have some world-class players of great quality.”
In other Wednesday games, Anderlecht welcome Arsenal to Constant Vanden Stock Stadium keen to erase the memory of their last home game, which they lost 3-0 to Borussia Dortmund.
Dortmund, who on the other hand have maximum points from their first two games and have yet to concede a goal, will provide Galatasaray with a stiff test in Turkey.
Below are the match backgrounds to Wednesday’s key games
LIVERPOOL V REAL MADRID
- Rodgers’ side are looking to bounce back from a 1-0 defeat at Basel on match-day two.
- Liverpool’s most recent encounter with Spanish opposition brought defeat on away goals against Atletico Madrid in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League semi-finals (0-1a, 2-1h). Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson and Lucas are the only survivors of that Liverpool team.
- Liverpool have won only four of 14 home matches against Spanish visitors, their record reading: W4 D6 L4.
- Liverpool have lost just one of their last 18 home matches in UEFA competition and beat Ludogorets Razgrad 2-1 at Anfield on match-day one.
- Madrid have won five of their last seven away games in the UCL, including a 2-1 victory at Ludogorets last time out.
- Madrid’s most recent visit to England brought a 2-1 win at Manchester United in the 2012/13 round of 16. Cristiano Ronaldo hit the winner at Old Trafford and has scored in five of his six appearances against Premier League teams for the Blancos.
- Madrid are unbeaten in their last three trips to face Premier League opposition. Their overall record away to English teams is W5 D3 L5.
ANDERLECHT V ARSENAL
- The Belgian champions opened Group D with a 1-1 draw at Galatasaray on match-day one before the Dortmund defeat.
- Anderlecht drew their last encounter with English opponents – 1-1 at home against Tottenham Hotspur FC in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage – to end a run of six successive defeats.
- Anderlecht have played 28 times against English sides (W6 D4 L18). At home their record is W5 D3 L6 (not including the 1976 European Cup Winners’ Cup final versus West Ham United FC).
- Anderlecht are in the group stage for a third successive year – the first time in eight years that they have achieved that feat – and the 11th time in all.
- Last year they finished fourth in their group with just a single point, drawing away against Paris Saint-Germain. They lost all three home matches, conceding 11 goals and scoring just twice.
- The Belgian champions have finished bottom of the group in all seven group stage campaigns since they reached the last 16 (qualifying for the second group stage) in 2000/01.
- In those six seasons, Anderlecht have won just four fixtures and when they beat FC Zenit 1-0 on matchday four in 2012/13 it was their first home success in the UEFA Champions League proper in nine years.
- The Gunners are in the group stage for the 17th successive season. Last year they departed in the round of 16 for the fourth consecutive time, Bayern Munich ending their hopes for the second year in a row. Arsenal lost 2-0 at home and 3-1 on aggregate.
- Four of their previous six fixtures against Belgian sides have involved Standard Liege, Arsenal beating them away (3-2) and home (2-0) in the 2009/10 group stage. Cyriac appeared as a second-half substitute for Standard at Arsenal Stadium on November 24, 2009.
- In the 1993/94 European Cup Winners’ Cup second round, the Gunners inflicted Standard’s worst result in UEFA club competition, a 7-0 home defeat featuring six different scorers that completed a 10-0 aggregate loss. It was, and remains, Arsenal’s biggest away win in UEFA competition.
- Their other games were against KFC Winterslag in the 1981/82 UEFA Cup second round, the London side going out on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.
- They began this season with a 2-0 defeat at Dortmund before a 4-1 home victory over Galatasaray, Danny Welbeck scoring a hat-trick, his first in senior football.
GALATASARAY V DORTMUND
- This is Galatasaray’s 13th home meeting with Bundesliga opposition and they are seeking just their third victory, having won none of the last six (D4 L2). Their overall home record against German teams is W2 D8 L2.
- Their last home win was a 1-0 success against Eintracht Frankfurt in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup second round.
- The Super Lig runners-up are in their 13th group stage campaign and their third in succession, having missed out in the five previous seasons.
- Cimbom have lost only three of their last 19 European home matches.
- On match-day one Burak Yılmaz struck in added time to rescue a point at home to Anderlecht. Two weeks later they lost 4-1 at Arsenal, Burak on target again from the penalty spot.
- Winners in 1996/97 and runners-up two seasons ago, Dortmund are in their tenth group stage campaign.
- Last season they reached the quarter-finals, a 2-0 second-leg home win against Real Madrid not enough to overturn a 3-0 away defeat.
- They have lost just one of their last seven away games in the group stage, winning four.
- Dortmund beat Besiktas 3-1 on aggregate in the 1989/90 European Cup Winners’ Cup first round.
- Dortmund beat Arsenal 2-0 on match-day one before a 3-0 win at Anderlecht, Ciro Immobile scoring in both matches.
OLYMPIACOS V JUVENTUS
- Although beaten at Malmo last time out, Olympiacos have won their last four home fixtures in the UCL – against Benfica, Anderlecht and Manchester United last season and Atletico Madrid in their Group A opener.
- Olympiacos’s 1-1 draw with Lazio in the 2007/08 UCL group stage was their sixth successive home game without a win against Serie A opponents.
- Their last home success against an Italian team was a 1-0 defeat of Napoli in the 1979/80 UEFA Cup first round. Even then, they had lost the away leg 2-0.
- The Greek champions’ home record against Italian sides is W2 D4 L4. Their overall record is W5 D5 L10.
- Juventus beat Malmo on match-day one but subsequently went down 1-0 at Atletico. That defeat means they have now lost four of their last five away matches in the UCL, drawing the other.
- Juve’s overall record against Greek teams is W12 D4 L4. In Greece their record reads W4 D3 L3.
- It was at Athens’ Olympic Stadium that Juventus lost 1-0 to Hamburg in the 1983 European Champion Clubs’ Cup final.
Atletico Madrid v Malmo
Olympiakos v Juventus
Liverpool v Real Madrid
Ludogorets v FC Basel
Bayer Leverkusen v Zenit
Monaco v Benfica
Galatasaray v Borussia Dortmund
Anderlecht v Arsenal