Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers (C) watches his players during a training session at Anfield ahead of their clash against Real Madrid in the Champions League on Wednesday.Reuters

Real Madrid and Liverpool come face to face in one of the highly anticipated heavyweight clashes of the group stages of the Champions League this season.

Considering their recent form of late, Liverpool are certainly not anywhere near the favourites in this fixture against defending European Champions Real Madrid.

The Reds still do not seem to have come to terms with the departure of their talisman Luis Suarez to Barcelona this summer.

Ever since the Uruguayan left, Liverpool's world seem to have turned upside down, with the Reds struggling against small teams like West Brom and Queen Park Rangers, the likes of whom would have been easily crushed last season.

The departure of the27-year-old has inevitability led to questions on whether Liverpool really played well as a team last season or were they simply riding on the roller coaster of Suarez's brilliant form.

Questions on Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers' managerial ability has also arisen as the Northern Irishman has failed to emulate last season's form despite spending a fortune on the transfer of ten new players this summer.

The Reds are currently in fifth position in the Premier League, nine points behind leaders Chelsea, with four wins, 1 draw and three losses.

Their run in the Champions League also hasn't been that great as they just barely managed to scrape past a low key Ludogorets Razgrad side before succumbing to a defeat against Basel in the succeeding fixture.

Should they lose against Real Madrid on Wednesday, the Reds chances of making it to the knockout phases of the Champions League will be highly diminished even though they will still have three more group games left.

Despite admitting that Liverpool do not have the same form as last season, Rodgers is certain that his side will "rise to the standards" when they face Real Madrid.

"We haven't got to the levels of last season for many reasons, but this is a special game and a special competition for us and I'm very confident that the great competitors our team will rise to the standards of what is an outstanding Real Madrid team," the former Swansea boss said.

However, he admits that it is going to be a "very difficult game" for Liverpool on Wednesday.

"It's still going to be a very difficult game for us. They are a squad full of top-class players. We have to make a plan for our team first to ensure that we cause Real Madrid problems, and then of course you have to prepare yourself for the quality of players they have."

Real Madrid
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo gestures as he stands in the rain during a training session at Anfield ahead of their Champions league clash against LiverpoolReuters

Meanwhile, Real Madrid will also be looking to win this game to strengthen their position in Group B.

Despite not starting the 2014/15 campaign on the brightest of notes, the Los Blancos have made an excellent comeback, recording comprehensive victories in their last five La Liga games against Deportivo La Coruña (8-1), Elche (5-1), Villarreal (2-0), Athletic Bilbao (5-0) and Levante (5-0).

Their form in the Champions League this season has also been good as they currently sit top of their group, with two wins in their first two fixtures.

Despite there being suggestions that Real Madrid will be cautious against Liverpool on Wednesday considering they are playing at Anfield, Los Blancos boss Carlo Ancelotti insists that his side will be exhibiting the same attacking style of football.

"I'd like to think that our tactics and our system, our philosophy of football, are pretty much the same whether we're home or away. We try to play with the same competitive spirit, try to control the ball and use our quality," Ancelotti told UEFA's official website. "Our idea is to put out as competitive a side as possible, and that's how we try to set up in every game."

The former Chelsea boss is certain that fans will not be bored when Real Madrid and Liverpool take the pitch on Wednesday.

"I think you are going to see a spectacular encounter, a really good game full of excellent football between two great sides," he added. "It's going to be very high tempo and dynamic and we'll be doing our best to try to get three points."

Expected lineups: Liverpool: Mignolet; Johnson, Lovren, Škrtel, Moreno; Allen, Gerrard; Henderson, Sterling, Coutinho; Balotelli.

Real Madrid: Casillas; Carvajal, Pepe, Varane, Marcelo; Kroos, Modrić, Isco; James, Ronaldo, Benzema.

Where to Watch Live

The game is set for a 7.45 pm BST (12.15 am IST and 2.45 pm EDT) start with live coverage on Ten Action in India. Indian viewers can also stream the match live on Ten Sports Live. Catch the action in the UK on Sky Sports 5 and Sky Sports 5 HD, with an option to live stream the match online on Sky GO.

Viewers in the US can watch the Champions League game on Fox Sports 1 and ESPN Deportes, with an option to live stream on FoxSoccer2Go. Audience in the Middle East and North Africa can catch the action via live streaming on Bein Sports Connect, while South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa viewers can do the same on Supersport online.

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