Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp puts his team’s chances of knocking Real Madrid out of the Champions League at one per cent.
They arrived in the Spanish capital after losing 5-2 from the first leg, and although Klopp improved his rating from three weeks ago when he said Madrid was over, the odds didn’t change much in their favour.
Liverpool have no history on their side either, as they have only come back from a three-goal deficit in their first European match once – a famous 4-0 win in the Champions League semi-final over Barcelona in 2019.
No team in the history of the competition has ever lost a knockout match by three goals at home and not recovered, with only four coming back from three goals in the first leg.
“What I said after the game last night was about Madrid and they went through to the next round as a result,” said Klopp. “But now we’re three weeks later and we know there’s a game to play. If there’s only a one percent chance, I’d like to try it.
“Although it is difficult, it is probably possible. Unlikely, but possible, and that’s what we’re here for, then we’ll see where it takes us.
“We respect the competition and the opponent too much not to wait for tomorrow’s match. It’s a difficult task because we’re not in a great position.
“If I were on this side of the table, these are the questions I would ask and I would say the same: ‘No chance for Liverpool.’ And that means we’re alone.”
Asked if it was the hardest match he had prepared for Klopp, he added: “The hardest? I don’t know, it’s hard because we probably won’t get to the next stage.
“But in this room, I think 100 percent of people think we don’t stand a chance and if I’m the only one who thinks we have a slim chance, that’s fine.
“Tomorrow we are complete outsiders, 100 percent. Real Madrid are 3-0 up and that’s not what you want for Christmas, but this is football and we’ll try to give it a chance.
Liverpool’s chances were not helped by a lack of midfield. 18-year-old Stefan Bajcetic had to miss a long time due to a thigh injury and captain Jordan Henderson left home due to illness.
“Stress response in his adductor, which is absolutely wrong,” Klopp told Bajcetic.
“He doesn’t feel much, but he’s been out of the game for I don’t know exactly how long. We have to settle this and we’ll see when he can come back.
Liverpool are also not going into the game with confidence after the morale-sapping defeat to Bournemouth a week after beating Manchester United 7-0.
But Klopp said that if their roller coaster season continues in the same vein, another rise is in store for them.
“I’m not sure if we have a better chance this season, but if we can surprise ourselves in a negative way, we should be able to surprise ourselves positively on the road as well,” he said.
“If it’s going to be up and down, it should be up again tomorrow.
“We don’t warn Madrid: ‘Look out, here we come’. But we are here to try to win the game and to win it we have to play very well.
“A good game or a good game is not enough. We’re going to have to be on top of our game and that’s what we’re going to try.