Liverpool/Real Madrid, Champions League, 7.45pm, ITV1
Juande Ramos has promised that the “famous Anfield roar” holds no fear for his side and who can blame him when it hasn’t intimidated teams like Stoke and Hull this season. The Sun today reported that 91% of teams who win the away leg 1-0 progress, bringing into question ITV’s decision to again give Liverpool prominence over Chelsea.
While the Reds should still qualify, here are five reasons why they won’t win tonight, courtesy of chickendinner:
1. Liverpool haven’t won consecutive home games since October. They have played twelve times at Anfield since their 1-0 win over Portsmouth over four months ago but have won just five of them.
2. Rafael Benitez’s side have won both the home and away legs of a Champions League knockout tie on just two of their last nine attempts.
3. Real Madrid have won four consecutive away games since facing Barcelona in Juande Ramos’ game. They haven’t conceded a goal throughout that run, have scored eleven times and have managed at least two goals in each game.
4. Liverpool haven’t won any of their last six home games against Spanish sides. They lost 3-1 to Barcelona in 2001, 1-0 to Valencia in 2002, drew 0-0 with Deportivo in 2004 under Benitez, drew 0-0 with Real Betis in 2005, lost 1-0 to Barcelona in 2007 and drew 1-1 with Atletico Madrid earlier this season, when Steven Gerrard dived late on to win a penalty and steal a point.
5. In the Reds’ four meetings with Spanish opposition under Benitez, they have performed better in the away leg than they have at Anfield, with the only exception being the Atletico game earlier this season where they required an injury-time equaliser to match their away result. That indicates that Liverpool should get a worse result today than they did at the Bernabeu.