Liverpool chase the impossible

Dortmund, Arsenal will qualify with victories

Liverpool chase the impossible

Real Madrid keeper Iker Casillas believes the European champions have a side with the potential to be one of the all-time greats and it will be with likely trepidation that an off-colour Liverpool visit the Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Led by Cristiano Ronaldo, Real have been in majestic form with 46 goals in their last 11 games as they have torn apart opposition in both Spain and Europe, with another win on Tuesday guaranteeing progression to the Champions League last 16.

The Group B match comes two weeks after Liverpool were easily beaten 3-0 at home by Real in the reverse fixture and that was with Carlo Ancelotti's side easing off in the second half with El Clasico on the horizon.

They then swept aside Barcelona and hit four without reply away to Granada in another exhibition of exhilarating attacking football on Saturday.

"This team can make history, there are good ingredients," Casillas told reporters.
"We are hoping to win the top trophies. We have a good mix of youngsters and older players that can show them what it is to be Madrid and how they need to play."
Real lead the group with nine points from three games while Ludogorets, Liverpool and Basel all have three points.

Real, who won the King's Cup as well as their 10th European Cup last season, have hit form after losing two of their first three La Liga games.

"The team is building on the two trophies that we won and we are looking to continue this," added Casillas.

Xabi Alonso and Angel Di Maria departed ahead of the season but new faces Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez have done well with the latter getting a brace against Granada. They can also recall winger Gareth Bale who is fit following a spell on the sidelines because of injury. Liverpool's return to the Champions League for the first time in five seasons has been far from smooth sailing and though defensively they have looked shaky, their main worry is in attack for the trip with the imperious Luis Suarez long gone.

England striker Daniel Sturridge is nursing a calf injury while the unpredictable Mario Balotelli has looked laboured and Rickie Lambert lacks Champions League experience.
"We've worked very hard over a couple of years to get to this level," Rodgers told the club's website (www.liverpoolfc.com).

After slipping to defeat against Newcastle United in the Premier League on Saturday, few would fancy Liverpool's chances of causing an upset at the Bernabeu, but Rodgers is backing his players to rise to the challenge. "There are pressures in every game at Liverpool. It's not just Tuesday," he said.

Strange Dortmund
Dortmund are having a strange season in which they struggle domestically while brushing aside all opposition in Group D. Beaten by Bayern in the Bundesliga on Saturday, they have dropped into the relegation places, but play at home to Galatasaray on Tuesday looking for a repeat of their 4-0 success in Turkey. If Jurgen Klopp's team and Arsenal, who will be without the services of midfielder Jack Wilshere who is ill, both win, they will each have qualified with two games to spare.

Tuesday’s fixtures: Group A: Juventus vs Olympiakos, Malmo vs Atletico Madrid; Group B: Real Madrid vs Liverpool, FC Basel vs Ludogorets; Group C: Zenit vs Bayer (10:30 pm on Tuesday), Benfica vs Monaco; Group D: Arsenal vs Anderlecht, Dortmund vs Galatasaray. (Note: all matches will begin at 1.15 am on Wednesday morning IST unless otherwise stated).

Comments (+)