Luka Modric admits he is ‘really surprised’ by Liverpool’s difficulties this season – but Real Madrid star stresses he isn’t taking anything for granted ahead of Champions League last-16 showdown
- Luka Modric says that he is surprised by Liverpool’s struggles this season
- However, Modric is expecting a tough task in the Champions League last-16
- Liverpool have won their last two games but are in eighth place in the league
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has admitted that he is surprised by Liverpool’s inconsistency this season.
Although Jurgen Klopp’s side have won their last two games, they have been a shadow of their former selves for much of this campaign and are currently in eighth place in the Premier League.
Liverpool host Real on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie and Modric is still wary of the threat that they are capable of providing.
Modric said: ‘I am really surprised that Liverpool are so far from the first place in the Premier League, but they can also say the same about us at the moment in La Liga. So, I’m not saying anything!
‘Seeing the Liverpool squad, we know that at any time they can react and start to come back in the season. I hope it won’t be in these two Champions League games against us but we have to be ready.
Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has admitted that he is surprised by Liverpool’s season
Jurgen Klopp’s side have lacked consistency but Modric isn’t taking anything for granted
‘Despite our league seasons, a Liverpool-Real match is one of the best shows that the world of football can offer. It’s a shame that the draw has led to us playing so early in the competition because it would have been a great Champions League Final.’
Modric expects that both legs of the tie against Liverpool will be hard-fought encounters, but stated that he sees Real as favourites.
He said: ‘In terms of this first leg I think defences could be the key. I don’t see a lot of goals in the match. It will probably be two very even matches, but I see Real as favourites and we’ll go to Anfield looking for a victory.
Modric says that he sees Real Madrid as favourites going into the Champions League clash
‘With away goals no longer counting double it makes less difference whether you play home or away first. But I always prefer to have the second leg at home because at the Bernabeu we have seen so many times how the fans in the stand influence this kind of match.’
Real, meanwhile, are in second place in LaLiga, five points adrift of leaders Barcelona, who have played a game less.
Last season Real beat Liverpool 1-0 in the Champions League final, and it will be intriguing to see which team makes it through to the last eight this season.
At times this campaign Liverpool have looked devoid of cohesion and ideas.
Darwin Nunez has looked impressive in recent games, but the striker is a doubt for the first leg against Real because of a shoulder injury.