|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Time to attack for Liverpool and Real Madrid
Trevor Huggins | March 08, 2006 16:02 IST
Holders Liverpool are staring down the barrel of a Champions League exit against Benfica and Real Madrid face a similar fate at Arsenal on Wednesday.
Liverpool and Real need to overturn 1-0 deficits in their knockout round second leg ties, as do PSV Eindhoven if they are to reach the quarter-finals at the Stade Gerland against Olympique Lyon.
Liverpool's problem is that they need to find goals at a time of drought.
Rafael Benitez's men famously scored three in the second half of the 2005 final against Milan but have only managed four in their last eight games. They have not scored twice in any match since January and need to find the net at Anfield.
Benfica, who knocked out Liverpool's old rivals Manchester United in the group stages, are likely to bide their time and wait for a chance to hit Benitez's men on the break.
Real Madrid will be looking to impress their new club president Fernando Martin at Highbury.
Ronaldo is expected to lead the charge, supported by Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham on the flanks, with Robinho available to add a further attacking threat from midfield.
Bayern's Dutch striker Roy Makaay will be the main danger man for Milan, who will be without their combative midfielder Gennaro Gattuso through suspension.
Though the odds are against them, Bayern keeper Oliver Kahn is already convinced of the outcome. "I am absolutely certain we will qualify," he told reporters.
Lyon face a PSV side who have yet to score an away goal in the Champions League but who need to score at least twice to go through without resorting to a penalty shoot out.
Like Real with Ronaldo, Julio Baptista and Robinho, Lyon will look to Brazilians for inspiration in striker Fred and attacking midfielder Juninho, their predatory and brilliant free kick taker.
UEFA Champions League 2005-06: The Complete Coverage