Premier League

Real hope for Liverpool? Man City, Arsenal seek serene Champions League and Europa progress

Man City manager Pep Guardiola, Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta.

We wait to see which Liverpool will turn up at the Bernabeu, while Man City seek to assert their control over RB Leipzig. In the Europa League, it’s a tricky test for Mikel Arteta…


Game to watch – Real Madrid v Liverpool
They wouldn’t, would they? A week ago, there were those who thought they might…

That was after Liverpool stuck seven past Manchester United to secure a win by a margin more unlikely to many than the prospect of the Reds overturning their worst home defeat in European competition. After a wildly inconsistent season, there was hope – if not necessarily belief – on Merseyside that Jurgen Klopp’s men had discovered some solidity and ruthlessness after a run that catapulted them back to being favourites to land a top-four spot.

Then they went to Bournemouth and phoned it in again.

Still, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Liverpool rattle Real Madrid at the Bernabeu. Perhaps not with the four-goal victory they would need to secure the most unlikely place in the quarter-finals, or even the three they need to level things up, but the Reds certainly appear capable of turning it back on when they feel like it.

That’s the frustrating thing for Liverpool fans watching their side fluctuate between excellence and excrement. There have been too many occasions this season when you might reasonably observe a lack of motivation among a group of players, many of whom have won it all under Klopp.

It was evident at Bournemouth but it ought not to be a problem to gee themselves up at the Bernabeu. We should see a Liverpool side seething over what Real did to them on their own patch three weeks ago, and further afield in recent seasons. But who the f*** really knows with this lot anymore?

Read more: Premier League winners and losers: Liverpool, Vieira, Moyes and Lingard get an almighty kicking


Team to watch – Manchester City
City missed their chances to kill off RB Leipzig when their first-half domination wasn’t reflected in the scoreline. Likewise, Leipzig will rue not making the most of their second-half opportunities to at least take a lead to the Etihad.

If either Pep Guardiola or Marco Rose do regrets, it will surely be the Leipzig boss lamenting harder over how the first leg in Germany panned out three weeks ago. City have won 21 and drawn two of their last 23 at home in the Champions League. Is that Leipzig’s chance gone?

Probably. City haven’t exited the Champions League before the quarter-final stage in the last six…

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