Liverpool's troublesome return to Champions League football may be about to take a huge blow this evening when they host the reigning European champions Real Madrid at Anfield.
The Reds will be boosted by the fact that Madrid's £85 million signing Gareth Bale picked up an upper thigh muscle injury. Also to lighten hopes for the home side, Sergio Ramos will miss out because of a calf strain, so Nacho is favourite to step in for the Spaniard alongside Pepe.
Will Balotelli start?
Despite the loss of two key players, Real were boisterous enough to hammer Levante 5-0 at the weekend away from home. And there are no prizes for guessing one of the goalscorers. Cristiano Ronaldo will return to English soil on fine form, scoring five goals in his previous two competitive games for the club.
Brendan Rodgers will ponder whether to award Mario Balotelli the opportunity to play tonight after his abysmal performance against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday.
Can Liverpool pull off a shock result?
However, it was his goal that gave Liverpool their only win of the tournament thus far which came against Ludogorets. Alberto Moreno will return to the side after being rested in that game but Daniel Sturridge remains injured respectively.
Last year's champions stand strongly at the top of their group; however, defeat tonight may spell the end of their reign at the peak if Basel manage to beat Ludogorets by a significant amount of goals.
Liverpool, on the other hand, are desperate for victory after their previous Champions League performance which saw them crushed by Basel in Switzerland. They sit third in the table but if they lose tonight, it could be curtains for them.
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