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Real Madrid ready for Liverpool

Madrid: Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will make two changes to his starting 11 as the Spanish football club looks to assure their place in the knockout rounds of Champions League when they play Liverpool
IANS November 04, 2014 7:40 IST
IANS

Madrid: Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti will make two changes to his starting 11 as the Spanish football club looks to assure their place in the knockout rounds of Champions League when they play Liverpool at the Santiago Bernabeu Tuesday night.

A win would assure the reigning European Champions qualify as group winners and give them a theoretically easier draw in the last 16 as well as allowing Ancelotti the luxury of being able to rest players for the two remaining group games, reports Xinhua.

Real Madrid go into the game in high spirits after a 4-0 win in Granada and defeats for rivals such as Sevilla and FC Barcelona allowed them to end the weekend top of La Liga.

Ancelotti's men have now won 11 consecutive matches and are scoring goals almost at will with an average of almost four a game.

They defeated Liverpool with ease 3-0 at Anfield a fortnight ago and are clear favourites to repeat the result in front of their home fans.

The changes Ancelotti will make in respect to the win in Granada are to bring defenders Rafael Varene and Alvaro Arbeloa for Pepe and Dani Carvajal.

Pepe has been struggling with a muscle problem while Carvajal had to limp out of Saturday's victory with a hamstring injury.

Meanwhile, Gareth Bale is still recovering from the muscle injury which has sidelined him for the past three weeks and allowed Isco to make such a positive impression on the side.

Liverpool travel to the Bernabeu immersed in a crisis of form and results. Brendan Rodgers' side have failed to score in their last two Premier League matches and have issues in both attack and defence.

Mario Balotelli has struggled to replace Luis Suarez while other players such as Adam Lallana and Emre Can have yet to adapt to their new club while the defence has struggled to defend set-pieces and also looks vulnerable against pace as they showed in Saturday's defeat away to Newcastle United, all of which means Madrid's 12th consecutive win looks very much on the cards.

Tuesday also sees Atletico Madrid visit Malmo looking for their third win in the group stage as they took aim to seal a place in the knockout phase.