Madrid Favourites Against Liverpool

Free-scoring Real Madrid head into today’s Champions League clash with Liverpool knowing a win will see them through to the last 16.

There appears to be no stopping Carlo Ancelotti’s ruthless side, who have claimed 11 consecutive victories in all competitions ahead of the Group B encounter with Brendan Rodgers’ struggling men at the Santiago Bernabeu.

La Liga rivals Granada were the latest side to feel the force of the European champions’ stunning form as they were consigned to a 4-0 home defeat on Saturday.

Madrid now sit top of La Liga, after Barcelona were beaten by Celta Vigo, and they also boast a 100 per cent record in Europe’s premier club competition.

Madrid blew Liverpool away with three goals in the first half at Anfield a fortnight ago and there was no way back for the Merseyside club, who lie seventh in the Premier League.

Ancelotti’s men are striving to become the first team to win the Champions League two years in a row and will take some beating on current form.

Cristiano Ronaldo broke yet another record at the weekend by becoming the first Madrid player to score in eight successive Liga games and the Portugal captain now has 50 goals over the current calendar year.

Ronaldo was also on target at Anfield and, with Liverpool enduring an indifferent start to the season, will fancy his chances of adding to his tally.

While Madrid take on all comers, Liverpool are already 12 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea after losing 1-0 at Newcastle on Saturday.

They face a battle to progress from Group B, as they sit third on the table and level on points with both Ludogorets and Basel with three games remaining.

The hosts could welcome back Gareth Bale, who trained on Sunday after recovering from a hip injury, while it remains to be seen if Dani Carvajal will be fit after the defender sustained a hamstring injury at the weekend.

Liverpool will once again be without striker Daniel Sturridge (thigh), while Mamadou Sakho is also still nursing a thigh problem. — Goal.com

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