Liverpool vs Real Madrid Picks and Predictions: Madrid Pull Out Big Win

After losing in last year's UCL final against Real Madrid, Liverpool will look to exact their revenge with a win here. However, our Champions League picks believe Real Madrid have all the weapons to win the first leg.

Last Updated: Feb 21, 2023 11:56 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Karim Benzema Real Madrid
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Champions League gives us an absolute blockbuster on Tuesday with two of the most successful teams in the tournament’s history meeting with Liverpool vs. Real Madrid. Between both clubs, they’ve won 20 European Cups.

This Round of 16 game gives Liverpool a chance at revenge from last year's UCL final, but with Real Madrid winning five of the six meetings, it’s a tough ask. Don’t miss our Liverpool vs. Real Madrid betting picks and predictions to find out if Jurgen Klopp’s men can pull off the win.

Liverpool vs Real Madrid odds

Liverpool vs Real Madrid picks and predictions

Liverpool finished second in Group A with their inferior goal difference handing Napoli the top spot. Meanwhile, Real Madrid won Group F by fewer points than Liverpool finished second in their group. Neither side have been at their best in this campaign.

Liverpool have only won three of their last nine in all competitions, losing four of those and drawing another two. That isn’t the form that we expect of a team like Liverpool. Things have been marginally better for Real Madrid in the past month, winning eight of their last 10 in all competitions since the league loss to Barcelona. Although it’s worth noting that two of those games came in the Club World Cup against very inferior teams. 

There’s still a huge amount of quality in both of these teams and they are, except for a few omissions, the same teams who played in last season’s Champions League final. This is the perfect chance for revenge for Liverpool in front of a packed Anfield crowd, but when it comes to betting our hard-earned money, it’s very difficult to put it behind Klopp’s team when they’ve been so wildly inconsistent. 

This isn’t the same Liverpool team as last year, with the loss of Sadio Mane a massive downgrade. Also, some of the players who have shone over the past few years look like they’re no longer as hungry. You can’t discount Liverpool, but Real Madrid with their incredible pedigree look like the smarter play — especially at odds of +210. 

Liverpool are likely to have Joe Gomez at the back and a midfield three that simply isn’t of the quality of Real Madrid’s three in the middle. The battle to control the tempo of this game is where the match will be won, and Real Madrid should come out on top. 

My best bet: Real Madrid to win (+210 at BetRivers)

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Liverpool vs Real Madrid side analysis

As mentioned above, I think this game will ultimately come down to the midfield battle, which is far more important than any other area on the pitch or the atmosphere that Liverpool’s fans can generate. 

Both teams will be sent out in a 4-3-3 and Real Madrid win in nearly every department. Alisson and Courtois are two brilliant goalkeepers, and in truth, the Liverpool keeper might just have a slight edge.

In terms of defense, it’s clear that Real Madrid are better. Yes, Van Dijk, Alexander-Arnold, and Robertson are brilliant, but it’s Van Dijk’s partner that creates the issue with Joe Gomez not quite at that level this year.

The Reds have given up 28 Premier League goals this season, compared to just 17 for Real Madrid in La Liga. Rudiger is settling into life in Spain, and alongside Eder Militao should be able to deal with Liverpool’s attack.

In midfield, we’ll see the duo of Kroos and Modric partner Camavinga. Kroos and Modric are serial winners, and although they’re aging, we saw at the World Cup just how effective Modric can still be at 37 years old.

They will have enough guile to outplay Liverpool, who might end up playing the young Stefan Bajcetic. Bajcetic has shown glimpses of quality in his short Liverpool career so far, but he’s about to come up against two central midfield players who have defined the last decade.

Real Madrid also have the better strikeforce with Karim Benzema flanked by Valverde and Vinicius. Liverpool’s front three have struggled to find their feet after the departure of Mane, and with Darwin Nunez missing with injury, they’re in trouble here. Gakpo and Salah are likely to flank Firmino. All three are talented players but we haven’t really seen any evidence that they work together yet.

Liverpool vs Real Madrid Over/Under analysis

With Over 2.5 goals clocking in at -140, it’s clear that the sportsbooks think we are due to see goals on Tuesday. Real Madrid saw 21 goals in six Champions League group games, with Liverpool seeing 23. It’s clear that these are both teams who are more than capable going forward.

Liverpool’s biggest question mark this season has been over their defensive issues, with injuries and an aging midfield causing problems. Those issues still haven’t been solved, and I struggle to see them getting through this without conceding at least one goal to Real Madrid — and in all likelihood more than one. 

With the likes of Mohamed Salah on the field, you can’t discount Liverpool from scoring either. They scored just Under three goals per game in the group stage, and For that reason, I’d lean towards backing Over 2.5 goals here, but at those odds, it isn’t a wager that I’ll be taking personally.

Liverpool vs Real Madrid game info

Location: Anfield, Liverpool, England
Date: Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Time: 3:00 p.m. ET

Liverpool vs Real Madrid key injuries

Liverpool: Luis Diaz FW (Out), Arthur CM (Out), Darwin Nunez ST (Questionable).
Real Madrid: Ferland Mendy LB (Out), Toni Kroos CM (Questionable), Karim Benzema ST (Questionable), Aurelien Tchouameni CM (Questionable).

Liverpool vs Real Madrid weather

It will have been a Tuesday full of rain in Liverpool ahead of this game with showers expected to continue throughout the match. Temperatures will be in the mid-40s.

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