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Liverpool vs Real Madrid Champions League round of 16 preview: Where to watch, kick-off time, predicted line-ups

When is it? How can you watch it? What are the possible line-ups? All you need to know about the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg between Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Jürgen Klopp leads his Liverpool side in Monday's training session
Jürgen Klopp leads his Liverpool side in Monday's training session Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool and Real Madrid meet in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg on Tuesday 21 February.

Liverpool vs Real Madrid at a glance

When: Tuesday 21 February (21:00 CET kick-off)
Where: Anfield, Liverpool
What: Champions League round of 16 first leg (second leg: 15 March)
How to follow: Build-up and live coverage can be found here

Where to watch Liverpool vs Real Madrid on TV

Fans can find their local UEFA Champions League broadcast partner(s) here.

What do you need to know?

After Real Madrid beat Liverpool in last season’s UEFA Champions League final, coach Carlo Ancelotti said the Reds were "easier to decipher" than some of his side's other opponents en route to the final. The Italian will see whether he really has definitively cracked Liverpool’s code when the teams meet at Anfield: their tenth European Cup encounter in total, with Madrid 5-3 up in terms of wins so far.

Liverpool vs Real Madrid previous meetings

Starting line-ups

Liverpool: Alisson Becker; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Bajcetic; Salah, Gakpo, Núñez
Misses next match if booked: Alexander-Arnold

Real Madrid: Courtois; Carvajal, Éder Militão, Rüdiger, Alaba; Valverde, Camavinga, Modrić; Rodrygo, Benzema, Vinícius Júnior

Squad changes

In: Stefan Bajcetic*, Cody Gakpo, Kaide Gordon*, Naby Keïta, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rhys Williams*
Out: Luke Chambers, Arthur, Calvin Ramsey

Real Madrid
In: Marvel*, Rafel Obrador*, Nicolás Paz*
Out: none

* List B

Form guide

Form (all competitions, most recent first)
Where they stand: 8th in Premier League

Real Madrid
Form (all competitions, most recent first)
Where they stand: 2nd in Liga, Copa del Rey semi-finals

Expert predictions

Matthew Howarth, Liverpool reporter
What a difference nine months makes. Having come within two victories of a historic quadruple last term, Liverpool were struggling to put any kind of run together prior to recent back-to-back Premier League victories over Everton and Newcastle. It has been a turbulent season so far for Jürgen Klopp and his players, but there have been signs of late that the Reds are returning to something approaching their best form. What better opportunity to continue their upward trajectory than with a game against the reigning European champions at a raucous Anfield?

Graham Hunter, Real Madrid reporter
We go again. The added piquancy to these two behemoths meeting nine times in this competition over the last 42 years is that those contests include two of the last four finals. Anyone wanting to understand how the European champions have done since Vinícius Júnior won the title last May will need some cultural perspective: most judges would say Madrid have been "so-so", but since then they've added the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup. Vinícius remains vital – as does keeping Karim Benzema fit.

What the coaches say

Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool coach: "We need to play two super games to go through. Madrid don't need to play special and they still have a chance. I'm really happy we can play this game now rather than a few weeks ago. I expect Anfield on their toes. Let's go together again."

Carlo Ancelotti, Real Madrid coach: "The team is in good shape, keen and eager to do well like last year, knowing that it is a difficult tie and that there is a second leg to come. We are excited to be back in this competition again. Last season's final in Paris brings back good memories. It was an even game. They had more possession but we were good at the back. It’s different now because there are two legs. We have factored that in. We have to be good for 180 minutes."

Where is the 2023 Champions League final?

Istanbul's Atatürk Olympic Stadium will host the final on Saturday 10 June 2023.

The winners gain a place in the 2023/24 Champions League group stage, if they have not qualified via their domestic competition.