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Rodgers ready for Real test

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By Joe Haining

Friday 29 August 2014

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has expressed his excitement at having drawn Real Madrid in the Champions League, reports Sky Sports.

Brendan Rodgers

The Reds have been placed in Group B in the tournament and as well as the current European champions, will also face FC Basel of Switzerland. The final place has been taken by Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets, who famously made it to the group stages earlier this week after defender Cosmin Moti, deputising in goal, saved two penalties in a shoot-out against Steaua Bucharest.

But it’s the two games between Liverpool and Real that will attract the most interest, and will offer a stern test to the Anfield side in their first foray in the Champions League for five years.

“To be back in it again, no matter who we were going to play, it was always going to be exciting,” said boss Rodgers. “But to have Real Madrid in your group, the champions last season, is going to be special. I'm already thinking of Anfield on that night.”

Liverpool famously thrashed the Spanish giants 4-0 on their last Champions League visit to Anfield in 2009, and also won 1-0 in the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium to complete an incredible 5-0 aggregate victory.

Rodgers acknowledged that Real would not offer the only strong challenge. “There are two other good teams in it along with us. It's a tough group but we'll really look forward to the challenge of getting out of the group.”

The Anfield boss is confident that his team will be ready for the challenges presented by all three opponents, confirming that work would begin immediately to plot a way out of the group.

“Preparation will start straight away. Some of the teams we're well aware of; we watch the likes of Real Madrid nearly every week and we know their players. We have our analysis team behind the scenes who will do all the preparation work we need for our opponents,” said Rodgers.

Now the excitement of the Champions League draw has passed, Rodgers and his team must turn their attentions back to domestic issues, with a tricky trip to Tottenham on the cards this weekend.

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