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Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane identifies Liverpool's 'weakest player' ahead of Champions League clash - Reports

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane
Namit Kumar
ANALYST
Modified 05 Apr 2021
News

According to Spanish publication Defensa Central, Zinedine Zidane has identified the weak link in Liverpool's team ahead of their first-leg clash with Real Madrid in the Champions League this week.

The Frenchman reportedly believes that right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold is the weakest player in Jurgen Klopp's team and has instructed winger Vinicius Jr. to target the Englishman.

However, Vinicius' selection for the Champions League encounter is far from a certainty, particularly after Marco Asensio's display in Real Madrid's 2-0 win against Eibar on Saturday. The 20-year-old Brazilian winger is yet to impress at Real Madrid this season, having only made 10 goal contributions in 36 appearances.

However, the Real Madrid boss has reportedly already spoken with the Brazilian to limit Alexander-Arnold's attacking threat by using his pace and power to pressure him and win the ball back on that side of the pitch.

These reports emerge in light of Trent Alexander-Arnold's controversial omission from the English national side, which he responded to with an impressive performance against Arsenal on Saturday.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp heaps praise on 'world class' Alexander-Arnold ahead of UCL clash

Liverpool
Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp (L) and Trent Alexander-Arnold

Trent Alexander-Arnold played a starring role in Liverpool's 3-0 away win over Arsenal in the Premier League over the weekend. The right-back was put under substantial pressure after England manager Gareth Southgate refused him a sport in the national team, claiming his level had dropped this season.

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Jurgen Klopp, however, defended the right-back following the omission and reiterated that the Liverpool player "showed his class" at the Emirates.

"Trent Alexander-Arnold showed his class, again. I don't want to make another discussion about Trent or stuff like that. I said it was Gareth [Southgate's] decision," Klopp said.
"He is blessed with the choice he has in that position especially, but Trent is in a good shape. If somebody says he is not, then I have to say he is wrong, that is all. But I am not responsible for [Southgate's] decisions," Klopp added.

The German manager fully backs the Englishman and claims he is a world-class player, both defensively and offensively.

"I am not criticising Gareth Southgate and I respect his role and his decisions," Klopp said. "But I know the player better than anybody else, any other coach and I can say that he is a world-class player."
"Does he always perform like a world-class player? No. I don't know a player who is doing that, but he has the potential," the Liverpool boss added.
Published 05 Apr 2021, 22:34 IST
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