Liverpool: Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has warned his teammates that they will need to pick up their game if they are to overcome the mightly Real Madrid in tonight's Champions League encounter at Anfield.
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. Pic/Getty Images
The Reds were fortunate to pick up three points against bottom club Queens Park Rangers on Sunday and have only won four of their opening eight Premier League games so far.
"Our performance needs to be better. It was very bitty, stop-start, the only credit we can give ourselves is that we never gave up (against QPR)," Steven Gerrard said ahead of the Real Madrid encounter.
"We were very lucky that day. We'd have no complaints if we came away with nothing. All around it needs improving."
He added: "We conceded two sloppy goals (against QPR). We're coming up against the best side in Europe in now so we need to address that."
Liverpool can draw solace from the fact that they have an impeccable record against the Spanish giants, having beaten them 1-0 in the 1981 final and then triumphed 5-0 on aggregate in the group stage in 2008-09.
However, while Real are the reigning European champions, Liverpool are adapting to the competition again after a five-year absence.
Brendan Rodgers's side are under pressure to perform after a lame 1-0 defeat at Basel last time out. Madrid head to England on a run of seven consecutive wins, having scored 32 goals in that time.
Nevertheless, Carlo Ancelotti's side will be without the injured Gareth Bale and could be distracted by the impending Clasico against Barcelona on Saturday.