There is good news and bad news for Liverpool when it comes to its UEFA Champions League quarterfinal against Real Madrid, assuming Real boss Zinedine Zidane isn’t playing mind games with the news that Sergio Ramos has suffered a calf injury.
The good news is that the Reds wouldn’t have deal with Sergio Ramos, one of the best defenders in the world.
The bad news is that the very existence of Ramos, a Liverpool villain from the 2017-18 Champions League final, was going to guarantee that even a substandard Reds team won’t go to sleep for a moment.
Ramos, 35, hurt his calf on international duty with Spain and Real returns to play with a visit from Eibar on Saturday before a brutal nine-day stretch that sees the reigning La Liga champs hosting Liverpool and Barcelona before visiting Anfield on April 14.
The Spanish star made Merseyside headlines on- and off-the-field when Real beat Liverpool 3-1 in the 2018 Champions League Final in Ukraine, playing a big role in injuries to Mohamed Salah and Loris Karius and then ripping Jurgen Klopp’s criticism of the incidents.
There is plenty of reason to be skeptical of Real’s Ramos worries, as the player is out-of-contract this summer and won’t want to risk missing a possible last Clasico or UCL run with Real.
But he’s missing half the season with different injuries. Real is 13W-4D-3L when he plays and 10W-4D-4L when he’s unavailable. It’s not a massive drop-off in results, but it is notable.
Real is six points back of leaders Atletico Madrid and two back of Barcelona, but will not meet Atleti again this season and look unlikely to have Ramos for the upcoming Clasico.