Steven Gerrard: Real Madrid clash is a bonus
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard (below) admits the direction his side and Real Madrid have taken in the last five years means their Champions League meeting at Anfield should be regarded as a "bonus" match.
In 2009 Gerrard was at the centre of a thrilling 4-0 victory over the Spanish giants - their largest away defeat in Europe - scoring twice as Fernando Torres ran riot against the visitors.
Fast-forward to the present day and Real arrive as defending champions after lifting their 10th European title in May while Liverpool are still acclimatising to a first season back among Europe's elite after a five-year absence.
Gerrard described their start to the season as "stuttering", with the team yet to find anything like their scintillating form of last season, but he is confident they can raise their game.
"Everyone knows what this club is about and its history and it is very important we keep Champions League football here for as long as we can," he said.
"That was a wonderful evening for myself and the team back in 2009, it was a fabulous team performance and we are looking for the performance level to be similar tonight if we want a positive result.
"It is nights like that which live with you forever; when giants like Real Madrid come into town and you manage to perform really well and get a good result they are fantastic memories."
He added: "This is almost like a bonus game for us - a game we need to enjoy - but I've been around for a long time and I know you only enjoy nights like this when you put in a good performance as a team and we are hoping we surprise and shock a few people."