Real Madrid CF will be travelling to the UK to face Liverpool FC in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. Los Blancos will be carrying a 3-1 lead as they visit Anfield, but manager Zinedine Zidane has massive problems plaguing his back line.
The Real Madrid injury list continues to grow and Liverpool will be looking to take advantage. The defensive positions are particularly vulnerable for the 13-time European champions. Captain Sergio Ramos is still out following a knee surgery that was quickly followed by a muscular injury on his left leg.
Raphael Varane, who normally takes over in the absence of Ramos, is sidelined thanks to a positive Covid-19 test. It was bad enough that those two players are out, but the club has proven that they can cope. After all, they won the first leg and "El Clasico" with both players absent as well.
Nacho Fernandez and Eder Militao did well to hold down the fort in the absence of Ramos and Varane. However, the recent matches also put Lucas Vazquez out of commission. Dani Carvajal is also still sidelined after exacerbating an injury when he tried to return too soon earlier this year.
Alvaro Odriozola is now left with a big weight on his shoulders and some massive shoes to fill. This could be his time to shine, after failing to impress during his time in Madrid so far. He might gain some inspiration from teammates like Marco Asensio and Vinicius Jr., who took a long time before finally finding confidence this season.
Fede Valverde was also seen limping at the end of the Clasico but it is believed that he is fit to play. Zidane may also rely on him heavily for the match, knowing that he can be a versatile performer both in defence or in the midfield.
Luckily, Marcelo appears to be fit and can line up with Odriozola as wing-backs. With Liverpool holding on to a crucial away goal, Real Madrid will need to keep them from scoring at Anfield. Militao, Nacho and Mendy may very well be tasked to line up three abreast just behind the wing-backs.
Liverpool will have to work hard to penetrate even though Real Madrid won't be coming with Zidane's preferred lineup at the back. Either way, it will be an intense fixture on Wednesday, when Liverpool gets a chance to mount a comeback in a "proper" stadium.