Real Madrid and Liverpool will meet tonight (8pm WAT) at the Alfredo di Stéfano to play the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals, Naija News 247 News Reports.
The moment of truth has arrived in the UEFA Champions League, the time when the competition enters the quarter-final stage. There are only eight teams left alive in the tournament and they all have the same goal: to fight for a place in the semifinals and thus be among the four best European teams this season.
Today the quarter-final qualifiers begin, and in addition to Manchester City-Dortmund, they also face Real Madrid-Liverpool, recalling the 2018 Final.
Both Real Madrid and Liverpool solved the knockout round easily – Madrid with total goals of 4-1 over Atalanta and Liverpool with a 4-0 aggregate against Leipzig.
Real Madrid, in a great dynamic
Madrid team arrives at the meeting wrapped in a very positive dynamic. In the league competition, Zidane’s boys beat Eibar 2-0 this weekend and have a record of three wins and two draws in the last five games. In all of February and March they have not lost a game and are only two points away from Barca and three from Atletico de Madrid, who’s the current LaLiga leader.
According to information gathered by Naija News 247 News, It is now, when Madrid have to show their potential, since this is going to be the most key week of the entire season – today they host Liverpool, on Saturday they play the El-Clasico against Barça in which a defeat would complicate the league, and next Tuesday, 14th, it is the turn for the returning leg.
Both teams have casualties for today’s duel. Real Madrid will not be able to count on Sergio Ramos, who returned injured from the national team break and therefore is the most outstanding.
In addition to Sergio Ramos, Hazard and Carvajal, who continue to recover from their long-term injuries, will also be unavailable.
Thus, the rear of central merengue will be formed by Varane and Nacho.
As for Liverpool, their star defender Virgil Van Dijk, who is still recovering from the torn cruciate ligament he suffered in October, will not be able to have minutes either. And the defenders Joe Gómez and Joel Matip are also low, so the English arrive in the Spanish capital with the defense made a frame, an aspect that the whites should take advantage of if they want to prevail in the game.
A highly anticipated performance in the duel is that of Marco Asensio, who is smiling again at Madrid and recovering his best level. Today is that day when stars like Benzema, Kroos or Modric must show their footballing quality.
Quite atypical season for Liverpool
Liverpool’s manager, Jurgen Klopp is having a much more discreet season than last year, so much that it is atypical.
Recall that last year the network sethe won his first league, doing so historically by scoring no more and no less than 99 points. In addition, he had 18 points ahead of the second position, which was Manchester City.
Well, this season the opposite is happening since Liverpool is ranked sixth in the Premier League table and despite it seems that it will not have problems to play the Champions League next year, this is quite a worrying fact.
Until a year ago, nobody managed to win a game at Anfield, while this season they have won, teams from the middle or lower part of the table such as Burnley, Brighton or Fulham, in addition to their eternal rival from the city, Everton.
Despite losing matches against weaker rivals and having a rather bad dynamic, Liverpool just defeated Arsenal this weekend 0-3. Thus, the fans of the English team insist that in today’s match Liverpool should play the same way as on Saturday. If the Klopp boys have the opportunity to dispute both the match and the tie against Madrid, this happens because their trident Mane-Salah-Firmino have a good performance, like Diogo Jota, who was called up with the Portuguese team and scored three goals in two games.
Interestingly, he did the same in the last two games for Liverpool, scoring two goals against Arsenal and one against Wolves.
This competition is the last hope for Klopp this season, since they have been disqualified from other competitions. So they are aware that this tie is also life or death for them, just like Real Madrid.
Both teams are aware of the importance of today’s duel, and this was reflected in the press conference held yesterday. Zinedine Zidane analyzed Liverpool and highlighted: “It is a very complete team. The three forwards are very good, but it’s a very solid team. Then, when it comes to playing as a team, it’s very good. There is no starting point. Then we know that the top three are good. They have an important effectiveness”.
Besides this, another relevant aspect is that he explained the good chemistry between his players: “All the players who are here know how to play. They have earned the right to play for this great club. Everyone understands Karim very well, and Karim the rest. It is what is happening in the field. There is a lot of chemistry”.
Finally, ‘Zizou’ praised Liverpool coach, Jurgen Klopp, to whom he dedicated these words: “He is a great coach, I look at all the coaches and I saw a lot of his things when I was doing the course”.
For his part, Klopp spoke about the situation his team is going through and the importance of today’s match for them: “It’s about getting everything possible this season. Other times we have had a better foundation. I thought we were not going to qualify for the Champions League. We have to chase Madrid, they are in a great moment, they know how to win the Champions League and they are a very good team”.
Likewise, he has not been able to avoid journalists’ questions in reference to the final that both teams played in Kiev, and in reference to this he said: “It is not a rematch, that’s life. We are going to try to win, but sometimes you have the emotion to the surface when it has not been long. Zidane and his boys know very well how everything works. We are in a good moment now ”.
Controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson says he helped Ronaldo overcome mental health crisis
Controversial right-wing psychologist Jordan Peterson has claimed that he helped Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo through a mental health breakdown.
Ronaldo came under heavy criticisms earlier this month when the Portuguese forward posted an Instagram picture of him and Peterson, who has been accused for his racist and misogynist view, alongside a caption that says “Nice to see you my friend”.
Peterson, 60, appeared as a guest on British TV host show ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored’ – where the two discussed the Canadian professor meeting the former Real Madrid player.
Morgan is also a close friend of Ronaldo and has always jumped in the defence of the 37-year-old football icon.
Morgan told Peterson that “It seemed to me, talking to him (Ronaldo) in the last couple of days after he saw you, he’s in a much better place.”
Peterson responded by boasting about himself and gave details on him meeting Ronaldo. “That’s what happens when you hang out with a reprobate like me.”
“He invited me to come and see him,” Peterson continued. “He’d had some trouble in his life a few months ago and a friend of his sent him some of my videos and he said he’d watched those.
“Then he read one of my books and found it helpful. He wanted to talk.
“I went out to his house and we talked for about two hours. He showed me all his equipment for staying in tip-top condition, and we talked about his companies. Mostly we talked about what he wanted in the future and some of the obstacles that he’s facing.”
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner and partner Georgina Rodriguez lost one of their newborn twins earlier this year.
I want more, Benzema says after picking hattrick awards in one day
Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema said he wants more after receiving his first-ever Pichichi Trophy for finishing as the top scorer in the 2021/22 La Liga campaign.
Benzema was impressive in the Los Blancos’ campaign last season. He scored 27 goals as Real Madrid won their record 35th La Liga title.
The presentation ceremony was held at the Goya Theatre, and the 34-year-old picked La Liga Santander Pichichi Trophy straight out of training.
He also won the Di Stefano Trophy for being the best player for the 2021/22 season and the Hyundai Supporters’ MVP Trophy.
The Frenchman said he is very proud of work and admitted this year is going to be difficult but he will always want more.
“I feel very proud of my work.
“I think this year is going to be a difficult year. I always want to do more.
“I’m going to try and do more, that includes winning LaLiga, scoring a lot of goals and most importantly, enjoying myself on the pitch.
“It’s a very important trophy for me, thanks to my teammates.
“Without them I wouldn’t be here today. Thanks to the fans, the club and the president.
“Every year is different, every year our rivals want to win LaLiga and let’s see what happens this year.
“But we are strong and let’s see what happens,” he commented.
Benzema had admitted last month that Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Real Madrid has given him a chance to take his game to the next level.
He said Ronaldo’s departure gave him the opportunity to step forward and score goals.
“With him I had another role and when he left, I knew I could take a step forward in scoring goals, but still playing football.
“What has changed since then is my goal tally, but I’m still playing the way I think you have to play this game. The figures mean I’m not far behind the Real Madrid legends, and that gives me confidence, even though I know that reaching Cristiano’s goal [figures] is impossible.”
No going back on acquiring AK47 for Amotekun, Akeredolu replies Garba Shehu
Ondo governor Rotimi Akeredolu says he would not be dissuaded by criticisms on his plans to acquire sophisticated weapons for the Amotekun Corps to defend his domain against marauders.
Mr Akeredolu, who stated this on Wednesday, was responding to a statement credited to the spokesperson for the presidency, Garba Shehu, over the alleged use of assorted weapons by the local security outfit in Katsina.
“The report by the TVC News that went viral showed the Katsina State Vigilante training with AK47. This is the same weapon which approval has vehemently been refused for the use of Amotekun Corps and other State Security Outfits.
“Where did the guns come from; who approved their use, were the guns returned to the armoury after use, the AK47, as seen from the TVC news report, was about usage. If not, what purpose does training with the guns serve?” The governor queried in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Akintunde.
He added that, “It is rather suspicious that Garba Shehu elected himself as the spokesperson for the Katsina State government. Whereas, the Katsina State has not come out openly to deny the statement of Governor Akeredolu on the use of AK47 by Vigilantes of Katsina State during training.”
Mr Shehu, on Tuesday, said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime has not licensed any state of the federation to procure automatic rifles such as AK47 for any local security outfit to defend the people.
He explained that only the Office of the National Security Adviser can issue such authorisation, upon proper clearance by president Buhari, stressing that the issue of security should not be politicised.
“In the specific Katsina often cited, the governor, Aminu Bello Masari, wrote to explain that the administration invited the Provost of the Civil Defence Training College in Katsina to train their Vigilantes for a five-day period in the handling and operations of Pump Action Rifles, emphasizing that the Vigilantes were not trained to take over the responsibilities of the security agencies of the Federal Government but to assist them,” Mr Shehu said in an earlier response to the governor.
But Akeredolu noted that Mr Shehu’s assertion on the use of automatic weapons by state security outfits betrayed the current realities across the country.
He added that the attempt to justify the use of AK47 by the Vigilantes of Katsina State for training “stands logic on its head”.
“It is illogical to continue to fight hardened marauders who bear sophisticated weaponry to kidnap and maim our people with bare hands. We cannot fight armed enemies of the people with our bare hands,” Mr Akeredolu said.
“It is our firm belief that the government has a fundamental duty to protect the people. It is a task that must be accomplished without excuse.”
MrAkeredolu, however, vowed to continue speaking up in defence of the people, stressing that he was more committed to the realisation of a constitutional amendment to reflect the current realities.
“Every Governor was sworn to an oath to protect the state and the people. The sub-national must be allowed to put in place security forces as a counter-balancing force to face these marauders who have unchecked access to sophisticated weapons.
“It is high time we tackled these conflict entrepreneurs and restore the confidence of the people. We can not do the same thing time and again and expect a different result,” the Ondo governor added.
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