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UCL PREVIEW: Liverpool set for ‘Real thrashing’ in Madrid?

UCL PREVIEW: Liverpool set for ‘Real thrashing’ in Madrid?
November 04
16:34 2014
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Real Madrid host Liverpool looking for the victory that will guarantee their progress to the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League (UCL).

Buoyed by their 3-0 win at Anfield – Liverpool’s heaviest home defeat in Europe – the 10-time champions are expected to continue their fine run of 11 victories in their last 11 games in all competitions.

Third-placed Liverpool are in a three-way fight for second place with FC Basel and Ludogorets.

After a late turnaround in Brussels, Arsenal will be hoping to register another victory over Anderlecht and further strengthen their position in Group D.

A first goal in over a year from Kieran Gibbs and a late effort from Lukas Podolski earned the Gunners a 2-1 victory over the Belgian champions on match day three.

They meet again at the Emirates.

Borussia Dortmund have won three out of three in Group D, but could be tested in a rematch against a Galatasaray side who have enjoyed recent success in Germany.

Below are the match backgrounds to Tuesday’s key games.

REAL MADRID V LIVERPOOL

  • Since losing to Atletico on September 13, the European champions have won 11 successive matches, scoring 46 goals in the process.
  • Their latest victory was a 4-0 triumph on Saturday at Granada in which James Rodriguez struck twice.
  • Carlo Ancelotti’s team have 24 points from ten league matches, two more than at the same stage last season.
  • Madrid became the first team to score against Barcelona in the league this season when they defeated their rivals 3-1 at home on October 25.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo equalised from the penalty spot in the Clasico. He has scored in his last 12 games in all competitions, 20 goals in total, and in 15 consecutive La Liga fixtures at the Bernabeu.
  • His goal on match day three was his 70th in the UCL, one behind record holder Raul Gonzalez.
  • Bale, Benzema, James, Toni Kroos, Ramos and Ronaldo are among 23 players nominated for the 2014 FIFA Ballon d’Or. A three-man shortlist will be announced on December 1, with the winner revealed on January 12. Ancelotti is up for the men’s coach award.
  • Liverpool were beaten 1-0 at Newcastle United on Saturday, their fourth reverse in 10 Premier League games this season. They lost six times in the whole of 2013/14.
  • Liverpool followed up their match day three loss to Madrid by keeping their first clean sheet in ten games, drawing 0-0 at home against Hull City on October 25.
  • Three days later, goals in the final four minutes from Mario Balotelli – his first since match day one – and Lovren earned the Reds a comeback victory over Swansea City in the League Cup fourth round.
  • Daniel Sturridge has not played since September 3 due to a thigh problem.

ARSENAL V ANDERLECHT

  • The Gunners are in the group stage for the 17th successive season. Last term they departed in the round of 16 for the fourth year in a row, Bayern Munich ending their hopes for the second campaign running. Arsenal lost 2-0 at home and 3-1 on aggregate.
  • Four of their previous seven fixtures against Belgian sides have involved Standard Liege, Arsenal beating them away (3-2) and home (2-0) in the 2009/10 group stage.
  • 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 completing a 10-0 aggregate loss. It remains Arsenal’s biggest away win in UEFA competition.
  • Their other games were against Winterslag in the 1981/82 UEFA Cup second round, the London side going out on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate draw.
  • The Gunners began this season with a 2-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund before a 4-1 home victory over Galatasaray, Danny Welbeck scoring a hat-trick.
  • The Belgian champions opened Group D with a 1-1 draw at Galatasaray before losing 3-0 at home to Dortmund.
  • Match day three was Anderlecht’s seventh defeat in eight encounters with English opponents – they had lost six in a row before drawing 1-1 at home to Tottenham in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage.
  • Anderlecht have played 29 times against English sides (W6 D4 L19). Away their record is W0 D1 L12, the only time they avoided defeat in regulation time came in the 1984 UEFA Cup final when they drew 1-1 at White Hart Lane. The home leg with Tottenham had also ended 1-1, and Spurs won the penalty shoot-out 4-3.
  • The Belgian side lost on their first four visits to England – conceding 19 goals without reply. Their first foray ended in a 10-0 defeat at Manchester United in the 1956/57 European Champion Clubs’ Cup preliminary round; that remains their heaviest European defeat.
  • 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 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 seven seasons, Anderlecht have won just four fixtures.

DORTMUND V GALATASARAY

  • The last time Dortmund started a UEFA Champions League group stage with three victories, in 1996/97, they went on to win the competition.
  • Having taken the lead on Saturday through Reus’s header, Dortmund went down 2-1 at Bayern − their fifth successive Bundesliga defeat. It is their worst run of form since March/April 2000, when they lost six in a row.
  • The Bayern reverse was their seventh in ten league fixtures this term, the same as they lost in the whole of 2013/14.
  • Three days after triumphing in Istanbul, Dortmund were beaten 1-0 at home by Hannover.
  • Jurgen Klopp’s charges eased into the German Cup round of 16 on October 28 courtesy of a 3-0 win at second-tier FC St Pauli.
  • Mats Hummels is expected to be out for three weeks after a right ankle injury forced his half-time withdrawal against Bayern.
  • Blerim Dzemaili and Felipe Melo are both a booking away from a suspension after picking up yellow cards on match days one and two.
  • Galatasaray conceded four goals in a game for the third time this season when they lost 4-0 at İstanbul BB SK on October 26.
  • Galatasaray returned to winning ways on Friday, defeating Kasımpasa 2-1 at home. Substitute Umut Bulut’s added-time goal, his first for Galatasaray this term, proved decisive.

THE FIXTURES

GROUP A

Juventus v Olympiakos

Malmö FF v Atl Madrid

GROUP B

FC Basel v Ludogorets

Real Madrid v Liverpool

GROUP C

Zenit v Bayer Leverkusen

Benfica v Monaco

GROUP D

Arsenal v Anderlecht

Borussia Dortmund v Galatasaray

 

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