Real Madrid vs Liverpool team news: Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli OUT of starting XI

The sides meet in the fourth round of the Champions League group phase

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The Independent Online

Steven Gerrard has been rested for Liverpool's game against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.

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The captain starts the match on the bench as Brendan Rodgers opts to leave out a number of his best players, with a match against Premier League leaders Chelsea coming up at the weekend.

Regular starters Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Coutinho and Mario Balotelli are also kept out of the starting XI by Rodgers in a move likely to draw much discussion.

Fabio Borini starts in attack for the Reds, who have won just one of their three matches in the Champions League so far.

The midfield is made up of Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana, Joe Allan, Emre Can and Lucas.

In defence, Alberto Moreno, Javi Manquillo, Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtl are charged with keeping Cristiano Ronaldo and co at bay. Simon Mignolet retains his place in goal.

The decision by Rodgers to rest so many of his regular starters is likely to be viewed as an admission that Liverpool would have minimal chance of collecting a result against the Champions League holders, even if they were playing.

For Real Madrid, Gareth Bale starts on the bench. Cristiano Ronaldo starts and will be aiming to score the goal that will draw him level with Raul's Champions League record of 71 goals.

Real Madrid team: Casillas, Arbeloa, Ramos, Varane, Marcelo, Rodriguez, Modric, Kroos, Isco, Ronaldo, Benzema

Subs: Navas, Pepe, Bale, Hernandez, Nacho, Medran, Torro.

Liverpool team: Simon Mignolet, Alberto Moreno, Javi Manquillo, Kolo Toure, Martin Skrtl, Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana, Joe Allan, Emre Can, Lucas, Fabio Borini

Subs: Brad Jones, Johnson, Gerrard, Coutinho, Henderson, Sterling, Balotelli.

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