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Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp, has said that Darwin Nunez has a chance of being fit for Liverpool’s Champions League match against Real Madrid this week. The Uruguayan forward was substituted off at the weekend with a shoulder injury, sparking fears that he could be unavailable for the Reds’ biggest game of the season.
Nunez has had a rollercoaster first season at Liverpool, scoring ten goals in all competitions but also missing plenty of guilt-edge chances. Despite that, he has been one of Liverpool’s best performers in recent weeks and would be a huge miss if he was unable to play on Tuesday night.
Fortunately for Liverpool fans, Klopp isn’t ruling his big-money summer signing out just yet. Speaking to reporters ahead of the game, the German said:
“There is a chance, from all possible scenarios, apart from being absolutely nothing. We have to see how he can deal with the pain and after that make a decision.”
A shot at redemption
The match against Real Madrid gives Liverpool the chance to get revenge on the side that beat them in the last season’s final. On that occasion, Real Madrid ran out 1-0 winners thanks to a goal from Vinicius Jr.
Klopp, who has now managed Liverpool in two Champions League final defeats to Real Madrid, has said that he only re-watched the match for the first time this weekend, calling the experience “torture”. He added:
“The thing I realised immediately when I watched it back was why I hadn’t watched it back yet but I had to. We played a good game and we could have won the game. They scored a decisive goal and we didn’t, and that was the reason.
You could see how experienced Madrid is, how little they are fussed when the other team has chances, they don’t lose confidence, they know their chance will come.”
📺 Jurgen Klopp on Real Madrid being a team that does not panic:
“Again, it's Real Madrid and you cannot play this game without respect and say, 'Who cares?' There was Modric, Kroos, Casemiro, Benzema, Vinicius, Valverde, all of them absolutely world-class.” 🔴 pic.twitter.com/Sax3bQuSdG
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) February 20, 2023
Aside from the two recent finals, the two sides also faced each other in the quarter-finals of the competition in 2021. Despite the number of times they have met each other in recent years, Klopp doesn’t believe it is relevant. He said:
“This is now, same clubs, different teams, different times. There’s a history in the last few years and one of us is always in the final, that’s how it feels at least. Usually, if you go to the final you have to kick us out or them, this time we play each other, let’s see who goes through.”
The last chance of silverware for Liverpool
After being knocked out of both domestic cup competitions early, alongside a dismal league campaign, the Champions League presents Liverpool with their last chance of winning a trophy this season.
They have a famous history in the competition and are the most successful English side in European competition so you would be foolish to rule them out, regardless of how their overall form has been this season.
After defeating Newcastle United away from home at the weekend, the Liverpool squad will also be in a confident mood ahead of this one.