The task that Liverpool have in turning around a 5-2 first leg deficit against Real Madrid in their Champions League tie was always going to be difficult, but now it’s been made that much harder with the loss of two expected starters.
Jurgen Klopp is the type of manager to always give things a good go even if the odds seem stacked against him.
We’ve seen that in the way he motivated his Liverpool players for European comebacks against Borussia Dortmund and FC Barcelona, the latter of which was arguably the Reds best ever performance in European competition.
However, this season Liverpool haven’t been anywhere close, form wise, to their 2018/19 side and even a two-goal lead against Madrid in the first leg wasn’t enough as their poor form came back to haunt them.
Los Blancos plundered five unanswered goals at Anfield to give themselves a healthy three-goal advantage on Wednesday.
Even if Klopp felt his side could get back into the tie, news, via The Athletic (subscription required), that captain, Jordan Henderson, and Stefan Bajcetic are unavailable for selection will really have hit their hopes.
Henderson has had to withdraw through illness whilst Bajcetic, who has had a breakout campaign in the 22/23 season, is suffering with an adductor problem.
Against 14 times Champions League winners, Real, the Reds have the toughest of tasks now, but master motivator Klopp has done the seemingly impossible before.
If he’s able to do so again, it will surely be his greatest ever triumph.
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