Liverpool are set for a mouth-watering showdown with Real Madrid in the Champions League quarter-finals next month.
The Reds were drawn against the Spanish giants in the next round of the competition on Friday morning, with the two legs scheduled for April 6 and April 14.
Here we take a closer look at what Jürgen Klopp’s men can expect from Real…
How they got here
Real topped a tightly-bunched Group B in the tournament’s initial phase, recovering from a tricky start to finish clear of Borussia Monchengladbach, Shakhtar Donetsk and Internazionale.
Los Blancos had suffered a home defeat by Shakhtar then drew at Gladbach in their first two games of the section, but responded with back-to-back victories over Inter as the final matchday arrived with everything in the balance.
A 2-0 win against Gladbach in Spain in their sixth fixture ultimately secured first place in the group and booked Real’s place in the last 16.
Zinedine Zidane’s team were paired with the other club to qualify from Liverpool’s group – Atalanta BC – in the opening knockout round and recorded a 4-1 aggregate success.
A 1-0 victory over the Serie A team in Bergamo gave Real an advantage they capitalised on with a 3-1 result when they met a second time earlier this week.
The quarter-final tie will be just the seventh and eighth meetings between Liverpool and Real, and the first since the final of this competition in May 2018.
Real ran out 3-1 victors that night in Kiev, clinching their 13th European Cup, though the Reds did of course go one better themselves the following season by lifting the trophy in Madrid.
Liverpool had enjoyed the better of the head-to-head previously, beating the Spaniards 1-0 in the 1981 final in Paris and producing a stunning 5-0 aggregate rout in the 2008-09 knockout stages.
They faced off in the 2014-15 group phase, too, with Real winning 3-0 and 1-0 at Anfield and the Santiago Bernabeu respectively.
European Cup pedigree
No team has won Old Big Ears on more occasions than the Spanish giants’ 13.
Seven of those triumphs have been achieved since the tournament was rebranded in 1992 and Real are the only side in the era to retain the trophy, lifting it three times in a row from 2016 to 2018.
Historically, they lead the way for appearances in the competition (45), fixtures played (447), matches won (267) and goals scored (988).
Zidane returned for a second spell at the helm of Real in March 2019, just 10 months after bringing his original tenure to an end.
The France legend, also a former player at the Bernabeu, had led the club to those three consecutive Champions League wins before stepping down shortly after overcoming the Reds in the 2018 final.
He guided them back to the summit of La Liga last season as they lost just three games to finish five points clear of arch-rivals Barcelona.
Zidane is one of only three managers to have won the European Cup three times, alongside Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti.
Real currently sit third in the La Liga standings, trailing leaders Atletico Madrid by six points and second-placed Barcelona by two.
They have lost just one of their past 17 games in the division, however.
Conversely, Zidane’s team suffered multiple disappointments in cup competitions in January, losing to Athletic Club in the Spanish Super Cup semi-finals before a shock elimination by third-tier Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey.