Sport Dalglish has not given up hope on Liverpool in Real Madrid tie
Zidane says Real Madrid deserve trust ahead of Liverpool showdown
Zinedine Zidane believes that his Real Madrid team has been unfairly criticised this season and they will be out to prove as much when they face Liverpool in the Champions League.A 2-0 win over Eibar at the weekend saw Madrid cut Atletico Madrid's advantage at the top of LaLiga to just three points, while Zidane's side are the only Spanish side still standing in the Champions League.
Sir Kenny Dalglish has not given up hope of Liverpool staging another Anfield comeback in the Champions League against Real Madrid and winning another Istanbul final, saying: 'Maybe romance is not yet dead.'
The former Liverpool player and manager believes the Reds face a tougher task against Real than they did in overturning a three-goal deficit to beat Barcelona in the 2019 semi-finals, and not just because the match will be played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But he hopes the pull of a return to the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul on May 29 - where they completed an incredible comeback victory over AC Milan to win the 2005 Champions League - can spur on Jurgen Klopp's men after their 3-1 defeat in the Spanish capital on Tuesday.
Real Madrid vs Liverpool: Team news, TV channel, live stream, odds
Real Madrid and Liverpool go head-to-head in an intriguing Champions League quarter-final first leg tonight. Sportsmail takes you through the all-important information ahead of kick-off.Jurgen Klopp's side have struggled domestically this season, but the Champions League has been another story for the Reds, who topped their group before brushing aside the challenge of RB Leipzig in the last-16.
Dalglish, an ambassador for McDonald's, said: 'We're 3-1 down in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, playing again on Wednesday against Real Madrid, the final is being played at the Ataturk Stadium which is the stadium where we beat AC Milan on penalties, so maybe romance is not yet dead and the bad season is going to have a happy ending.
'I think what will make it harder (than the Barcelona game) is that Real are a better team than Barcelona were. Barcelona won 3-0 at the Nou Camp and they missed a sitter late on with the last kick of the game.
'You thought at the time, 'that's given us a chance now'. Real Madrid have got a better team defensively even though they had to make changes (in the first leg) - (Sergio) Ramos never played and they had to bring a couple of guys in. They're better than Barcelona were.'
Will Jurgen Klopp gamble on Fabinho, Keita and Wijnaldum trio again?
That midfield combination has been used only three times this season by Jurgen Klopp - one was the 7-2 thrashing at Villa Park and another was the midweek Champions League loss to Real.That 7-2 thrashing Liverpool suffered at Villa Park back in October was one the worst, if not the worst, result Klopp has experienced in his distinguished career.
Liverpool's Premier League title defence has drifted badly off course and the Reds have a real fight on their hands just to qualify for next season's Champions League.
Video: Arteta still confident of Europa League progress (Daily Mail)
Asked why they had struggled so much, Dalglish added: 'There are no excuses, but there are some reasons. For me, one of the biggest contributary factors was losing four players in the same position, because then that was the back four out of commission or certainly weaker than they were.
'When you look at Van Dijk, you're looking at a colossus and you're thinking, 'how do I get past him?'
'It's the same with (Joel) Matip beside him, Joe Gomez... they had to put the two stalwarts from midfield, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, back into the back four, so they are now 20 yards deeper than they would normally play.
Maybe romance isn't dead - Liverpool legend Dalglish dreams of comeback in Madrid tie
Kenny Dalglish is not giving up hope that Liverpool can reverse their fortunes in the Champions League quarter-finals against Real Madrid.Los Blancos were a class above Jurgen Klopp's men in Tuesday's first leg in the Spanish capital, Madrid running out 3-1 winners with Vinicius Jr scoring twice and Marco Asensio also on target.
'You couldn't replace those two in the middle of the pitch. I think it was just unfortunate that that happened. Virgil has been a huge miss, but when you're not winning games, anyone not playing is a huge miss.
'I think the players are as hungry as they were last year, they are trying to replicate what they did. They lost six in a row at Anfield which is unheard of. People might attribute it to no fans being in, and it is detrimental to Liverpool that they have not had the fan support because they have always been a huge part of the success at the football club.'
Sir Kenny Dalglish is launching nominations for the 2021 Scottish FA Grassroots Awards, presented by McDonald's. To nominate your grassroots hero, go to www.mcdonalds.co.uk/awards
Chelsea are viewed as no match for Real Madrid by Spanish press .
PETE JENSON IN SPAIN: Real fans were torn between believing they have one foot in the final, and being wary of underestimating Chelsea, but Spain's press make Madrid the firm favourites.‘When Madrid can start to smell the final, their rivals should be praying to all the saints’ the triumphal column continued.