When they secured their return to the Champions League last term, Liverpool will have been licking their lips at the prospect of bringing huge European nights back to Anfield.
The fans too will have been delighted that their side could once more host continental football’s big guns and you can be certain that the atmosphere will be absolutely electric as Brendan Rodgers’s men welcome European champions Real Madrid to Merseyside.
It’s undoubtedly a massive evening for the club but there are also three points at stake and Rodgers will be desperate to ensure his players don’t carried away by the magnitude of the occasion.
He’ll also be acutely aware that his team needs to improve significantly after their disappointing display, albeit in victory, at QPR on Sunday as Los Blancos won’t quite be as charitable as struggling Rangers.
Indeed, bookies fancy Carlo Ancelotti’s rampant troops to plunder a maximum haul in Liverpool’s backyard, BetVictor installing them as 20/23 favourites while the Reds are bet365’s 7/2 underdogs despite having won all three of the previous meetings between the two.
Stan James chalk 14/5 against a stalemate, a result that would be far from a disaster for either side and with goals likely, BetVictor’s 19/5 about a score draw might prove popular, alongside a 2-2 scoreline at 14/1 (William Hill).
However, it’s simply impossible to ignore the form of Cristiano Ronaldo coming into this contest. The Real Madrid man has fired an incredible 18 goals in his last ten matches for club and country and is worth siding with in this mouth watering showdown.
Bet365 make the former Manchester United attacker 5/6 to outscore Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli at Anfield but it’s the same firm’s 8/1 for Ronaldo to score four or more goals over the pair’s two group meetings that catches the eye.
Indeed, speaking to Betrescue, bet365’s Steve Freeth said “Liverpool struggled to get to grips with Bobby Zamora on Sunday, so a considerable upgrade in the shape of Cristiano Ronaldo could cause carnage over 180 minutes.”
Cristiano Ronaldo to score four or more goals in two matches against Liverpool – 8/1 (bet365)