Well, we now know that Liverpool FC will be facing Real Madrid in the UEFA Champion’s League quarter-final round in April. In a season where Liverpool have struggled, this was one of the better draws available, as Los Blancos have also not been at their best. They are currently sitting in third in La Liga, six points off of their local rivals Atletico Madrid for the top spot.
While the tie is set, there is still a wrinkle. Rather than play the away tie in Real Madrid’s imposing Santiago Bernabeu stadium, one of the iconic stadiums in the game, the match will instead take place at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium.
While the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc with the season, it has presented the opportunity for Real Madrid to get a jump start on stadium renovations while fans are not allowed to be present for matches. The La Liga side are adding a retractable roof and freshening up the exterior of the venerable stadium.
While the renovations are occurring, Real Madrid have moved their games to the 6,000 seat stadium that is usually home to Real Madrid Castilla, the reserve team that plays in the Spanish third tier. The stadium sits in Real Madrid’s training complex.
This could end up having a significant impact, as the Spanish federation is looking to potentially allow some fans back into stadiums in April or May depending on vaccination rates. If it does happen, it could mean that just a couple thousand fans would be present rather than upwards of 20,000 fans that could safely be let into the 80,000 seat Santiago Bernabeu. To be perfectly honest, more fans would likely benefit Liverpool just as much as it would Real Madrid, but the point is moot now.