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Steve Nicol says Trent Alexander-Arnold will struggle when Liverpool face Real Madrid

Ben Evans

ESPN pundit Steve Nicol has predicted Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold will really struggle against Real Madrid.

Nicol was previewing their Champions League tie against the Spanish champions, and made Carlo Ancelotti’s side favourites.

Liverpool will be going into the game at Anfield with a renewed sense of confidence.

After a stop-start season, Jurgen Klopp’s side have recorded back-to-back league wins.

Newcastle United v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Photo by Richard Callis/MB Media/Getty Images

A dominant display against fierce rivals Everton was followed up by an important win over high-flying Newcastle.

Goals from Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo gave Liverpool an early two-goal lead over Eddie Howe’s men.

Nick Pope was then shown a straight red card after handling the ball outside of his area.

Newcastle have been sensational this season, but Real Madrid pose a completely different threat on Tuesday.

Steve Nicol has now suggested that Trent Alexander-Arnold could really struggle when Liverpool face Los Blancos.

He’s got a huge task ahead of him trying to stop Brazilian sensation Vinicius Jr.

Nicol predicts Liverpool star Alexander-Arnold to struggle against Real Madrid

The ESPN pundit was asked how he felt about Alexander-Arnold going up against Vinicius Jr.? “No thanks,” he replied.

“Listen, Alexander-Arnold today, when Saint-Maximin came inside because they were down to ten men, he must have thinking ‘thank you very much’, because he had no idea what was going on.

“And that’s against a guy who can be good. The difference between Saint-Maximin and Vini, I’m sorry they’re a world apart.

“He knows what he’s doing. Vini’s got the confidence and the football brain to take advantage of situations against Alexander-Arnold.

“If he gets as much of the ball as he did in this game against Osasuna, then there could be trouble.”

The £180,000-a-week full-back has always come under heavy scrutiny for his defending.

Newcastle United v Liverpool FC - Premier League
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Rio Ferdinand recently said that every mistake he makes tends to be punished at the moment.

He’ll be glad to have kept a clean sheet yesterday to give him and his teammates some much-needed confidence.

However, if anyone is going to be able to punish Alexander-Arnold’s positioning it’s Vinicius Jr.

He scored the decisive goal in the Champions League final between the two sides last season.

Vini Jr. drifted in at the back post undetected by Alexander-Arnold, before firing into the empty net.

Alexander-Arnold will want to prove Nicol and his other critics wrong when Liverpool face Real Madrid.

Klopp and his squad will want revenge for the events that took place in Paris last summer.

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