football

Gary Neville backs Real Madrid to dump Liverpool out of the Champions League


Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool need a strong display at Anfield to knock Real Madrid out of Europe (PA)

Gary Neville believes Liverpool will be eliminated from the Champions League by Real Madrid on Wednesday evening.

Jurgen Klopp’s side fell to a 3-1 defeat in Spain last week and have a mountain to climb at Anfield in the return leg.

Liverpool got back on track with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday to boost their hopes of securing a top-four finish in the Premier League.

But Neville believes the manner of Liverpool’s injury-time victory against Villa suggests that they will be unable to pull off the rest they require to knock Madrid out of Europe.

‘It was a massive result for Liverpool [against Villa], they couldn’t afford really to lose,’ Neville said on Sky Sports’ The Gary Neville Podcast.

‘It’s really important that Liverpool get into the top four.

Real Madrid hold a 3-1 lead over Liverpool ahead of the second leg at Anfield this week (Getty)

‘They won the title last season and have had an exceptional three years, now that they’ve got the chance to get into that top four, you couldn’t say it’s a priority over the Champions League, but the reality of it is that from where they’ve been, and they’ve had some difficult moments in these last few months, that [top four] would be a good result at the end of this season for Liverpool. I think that [the win against Villa] was a big moment for them.

‘They were really poor in Madrid in midweek, and they’ve given themselves a lot to do and I’m not sure they have got it in them to do it because at Anfield they’ve not been great – even against Aston Villa, they’re scrambling to win late on.

‘With a crowd in, it’s a different story, but I think they’re going to go out of the Champions League.

‘I might be wrong, but it would seem now that they’ve got the top four to concentrate on.

‘If they get into the top four at the end of it, it would be a half-decent result for them.’

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