Real Madrid defender David Alaba is expecting an extremely tough Champions League tie against Liverpool despite the Premier League side’s struggles this season.

Liverpool host Madrid in the first leg of their round of 16 clash at Anfield on February 21 before the two sides meet again in the second leg at the Bernabeu on March 15.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side are currently second in La Liga and will head into the tie as strong favourites, with Liverpool massively struggling this season under Jurgen Klopp.

Alaba: Liverpool clash will be ‘brutal’

Liverpool look particularly vulnerable in midfield but Madrid defender Alaba is taking nothing for granted when the two sides meet next month.

When asked about his ambitions for the future, the Austria international told Bild: “I want to celebrate successes: personal, with Real Madrid and with the national team. We want to win the league, be at the top. That is my ambition, I do not understand things in any other way.

“We also want to compete well in the other competitions, although we know that the game against Liverpool in the Champions League will be brutally difficult.”

He added: “It’s going to be a fantastic round of 16. The games against Liverpool are always real fights, they are one of the best teams in the world.

“It will be a difficult task, but we want to go to the next round.”

Vinicius Jr scored the winner for Real Madrid as they were crowned European champions for a record-extending 14th time with victory over Liverpool in the summer.

Liverpool and Real Madrid also met in the quarter-finals of the 2020-21 Champions League campaign.

The Spanish side progressed to the semi-finals courtesy of a 3-1 aggregate win, but were defeated in the semi-finals by eventual champions Chelsea.