Real Madrid legend Luka Modric has shared his thoughts on Liverpool’s form ahead of his team’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash in midweek.
The two sides will face off at Anfield in the first leg of their tie on Tuesday (February 21). In a repeat of last season’s final, which Los Blancos won 1-0. However, both sides have seen their domestic form dip this season. Madrid trail Barcelona atop the La Liga table by five points, having a game more.
The Reds, meanwhile, are eighth in the standings, trailing leaders Arsenal by a whopping 19 points with a game in hand. Speaking ahead of their last-16 clash, Modric expressed his ‘surprise’ at the Premier League side’s position in the league table. He told The Mirror:
“I am really surprised that Liverpool are so far from the first place in the Premier League, but they can also say the same about us at the moment in La Liga. So, I’m not saying anything! Seeing the Liverpool squad, we know that at any time they can react and start to come back in the season. I hope it won’t be in these two Champions League games against us, but we have to be ready.”
🗣 Luka Modrić: “I’m really surprised that Liverpool are so far from the first place in the Premier League, but they can also say the same about us at the moment in La Liga. So, I won’t say anything (laughs).” @MirrorFootball
— Madrid Xtra (@MadridXtra) February 19, 2023
“Despite our league seasons, a Liverpool-Real match is one of the best shows that the world of football can offer. It’s a shame that the draw has led to us playing so early in the competition because it would have been a great Champions League Final.”
Luka Modric picks Real Madrid as favourites against Liverpool
The 2021-22 Champions League final was a tight contest with Vinicius Junior’s goal helping Real Madrid lift a record-extending 14th title. However, Modric believes the Spanish giants are favourites going into the upcoming Round of 16 clash against the Reds.
“In terms of this first leg, I think defences could be the key. I don’t see a lot of goals in the match. It will probably be two very even matches, but I see Real as favourites, and we’ll go to Anfield looking for a victory.”
The Real Madrid midfielder added:
“With away goals no longer counting double, it makes less difference whether you play home or away first. But I always prefer to have the second leg at home because at the Bernabeu, we have seen so many times how the fans in the stands influence this kind of match.”
A big three points on the road 🙌#NEWLIV pic.twitter.com/typPxsawsx
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 18, 2023
Liverpool come into the game off consecutive wins in the Premier League. Real Madrid, meanwhile, won the Club World Cup trophy before beating Osasuna in La Liga in their previous outing.