Liverpool Receive Boosts Ahead of Real Madrid Clash with Return of Gomez and Diaz, but Concerns Over Midfield Absences
On Tuesday afternoon, the Liverpool players underwent training in preparation for their upcoming Champions League second-leg match against Real Madrid. Three players were notably missing from the training session as Liverpool prepared for the last-16 match.
The Reds are aiming to reverse their 5-2 defeat against the current European champions, in which Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema scored two goals each, while Eder Militao also found the back of the net. Despite two quick goals from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah, who capitalized on a mistake from Thibaut Courtois, the defeat was one of the worst in the club’s history at Anfield.
Jurgen Klopp’s team is aiming to achieve another remarkable comeback in the Champions League, but reducing the three-goal deficit seems more challenging, given the impressive track record of Carlo Ancelotti’s team. The six-time champions are seeking to recover from their recent loss to Bournemouth and will face the record holders in their upcoming match on Wednesday at 8pm. Liverpool must score three goals without reply to win the tie in regular time, and they will hope for good weather conditions in the Spanish capital, as they trained in harsh weather conditions, including rain, sleet, and hail, at the AXA Training Centre in Kirkby.
Liverpool received positive news as Colombian forward Luis Diaz resumed training to recover from his knee injury. Diaz sustained the injury against Arsenal in October and faced a setback during his recovery. However, he participated in a separate individual training session on Tuesday, indicating progress in his rehabilitation. His return to the field is a welcome sight for the Reds, and Diaz appeared thrilled to be back in action, as shown by his expression in the training session.
Liverpool’s midfield options were limited as neither Jordan Henderson nor Stefan Bajcetic were present during the team’s open training session ahead of the Real Madrid match. Fabinho, who played against Bournemouth on Saturday, trained with the team. However, the absence of Henderson and Bajcetic raises concerns about their availability for the upcoming match. Henderson was left on the bench for the Bournemouth game but came on in the second half, while Bajcetic did not feature in the match.
Liverpool received a defensive boost as Joe Gomez returned to first-team training, marking his first training session since his withdrawal against Real Madrid in the first leg. With competition from Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate for a spot in the starting lineup, Gomez’s return provides a welcome option in the event of injuries. In addition to Gomez, Nat Phillips also returned to training on Tuesday afternoon, further strengthening Liverpool’s defensive options.
Cody Gakpo was spotted cowering as the Liverpool weather made its mark on the January arrival. After settling in over recent weeks, it appears that the attacker wasn’t too impressed with the mid-March conditions.