Does history give Liverpool reason to be encouraged against Real Madrid?

Anfield Kop

Three competitive meetings, three wins for the Reds. Real Madrid are heavily fancied to win at Anfield on Wednesday night having never previously scored against Liverpool.

Liverpool's defence might need severe work at the moment but they may be heartened by this statistic ahead of their crunch clash with European Champions Real Madrid on Wednesday night. 

The two clubs have met three times in their history and on each occasion Liverpool have won without conceding.

However, that is history. They first met in the 1981 European Cup final in Paris where an Alan Kennedy strike saw Liverpool lift Europe's top prize for the third time whilst the other two meetings came in the last 16 in 2009.

Real Madrid were going through a difficult period and were managed by former Tottenham Hotspur boss Juande Ramos. Yossi Benayoun scored a headed winner in the Bernabeu, and in the return leg, Fernando Torres opened the scoring before a Steven Gerrard brace and an Andrea Dossena strike rounded off a comprehensive 4-0 aggregate win for the Reds under the management of Rafa Benitez.

This is a very different Liverpool from the previous meetings, and certainly a very different Real Madrid. This Liverpool side seemingly doesn't know how to keep clean sheets. Against Ludogorets, Everton and Queens Park Rangers this season, Liverpool have let the chance of a shut-out slip through their grasp late on in the game as their defensive struggles from last season continue - if not worsen.

Real have the world footballer of the year in their ranks with Cristiano Ronaldo with other quality players at their disposal with the likes of Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric amongst other high profile players in their ranks. They are European Champions for a reason, and even with Gareth Bale sidelined for the match at Anfield according to reports, the Reds have their work cut out especially given their defensive record at the start of the season - where they have conceded 16 goals from 11 games in all competitions.

It's a huge test for Liverpool and Real Madrid should be considered favourites against Brendan Rodgers' side as Carlo Ancelotti's men look to preserve their 100% record in the group so far.

So far Liverpool have had a stuttering start to the season as they adapt to life without Luis Suarez, and try to cope with Daniel Sturridge on the sidelines. But for the first time this season they have managed to record back-to-back wins in the Premier League this season as they search for some momentum. Mario Balotelli is under fire at the moment for his lack of goals. All the signs are pointing towards Real ending Liverpool's perfect record against them, but Liverpool will be hoping the magic of an Anfield European night can inspire them to a memorable victory.

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