No Madrid interest
Despite persistent rumours linking Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling with a move to defending European champions Real Madrid, boss Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that although he’s a fan of the 19-year old, he doesn’t have an interest in taking him to the Santiago Bernabéu at this time.
The youngster, who forced two own goals as the Reds narrowly beat bottom of the barrel Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, will get to visit the famous stadium when Liverpool visit in the Champions League in just under two weeks time, but he’ll certainly get his chance to show the ten time Champions League winners what he’s all about when they visit Anfield tomorrow. While he’s sure to impress no matter what the scoreline, Ancelotti isn’t looking to snatch him away from Anfield — at least, not quite yet.
Video courtesy of Sky Sports
Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has never been one to keep his views to himself, and following the Reds narrow win over Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, the defender turned Sky Sports pundit explained that he’d leave faltering striker Mario Balotelli on the bench when Real Madrid visit Anfield on Wednesday.
Back at Melwood
Liverpool have recalled left-back Brad Smith early from his loan at League One outfit Swindon Town despite having both Jose Enrique and Alberto Moreno already competing heavily for a starting berth at Anfield.
“Brad Smith has been recalled by Liverpool so Brad is no longer with us,” explained Robins boss Mark Cooper when queried about the youngster. “He started to look as though he was going to produce. It took him a while to get used to the way we played but he started to show glimpses of what we brought him in for. When there is that recall clause in the loan you always know it can happen. That’s football.”
Down for the count
Real Madrid attacker Gareth Bale remains a doubt for the Spanish giants trip to Anfield on Wednesday after a busy international break raised questions of whether or not he’ll be fit enough to feature when they square off against Liverpool in the Champions League.
The Welsh winger, who has scored four goals in seven league matches so far this campaign, was unused substitute for their dominant victory over Levante on Saturday and could very well be rested for the trip to England as Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti keeps one eye on this weekend’s meeting with eternal rivals Barcelona. “After tests carried out on Gareth Bale by the Real Madrid medical services, he has been diagnosed with a muscular injury in the right pyramidalis muscle,” a club statement read. “His progress will be monitored.”
We’ll be better
There’s no where to hide in Liverpool’s defence, and following Sunday’s last gasp win at Loftus Road, the microscope on their faltering backline will be intensified that much more when defending European champions Real Madrid visit Anfield tomorrow evening.
The return of Champions League football to Merseyside has been a long-term goal of the Reds hierarchy since they dropped out of the competition back in 2009, but when you’re not playing well, coming up against a European powerhouse such as Los Blancos can either be a major motivator or a horrible blow to a team already dealing with a lack of confidence. While it’s questionable whether or not he means it, Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren is choosing to take the positive route.