sport

Rodgers: Real draw special

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers knows facing 10-times European champions Real Madrid at Anfield is going to be a special night for the club.

The Merseyside outfit are back in the UEFA Champions League after a five-year absence and have been paired with the holders, Swiss side Basel and Bulgarian newcomers Ludogorets in Group B.

Liverpool will face Real in back-to-back meetings in the middle of their campaign, with the Spanish giants travelling to Anfield on Wednesday, October 22 for Matchday Three before the return in the Bernabeu on Tuesday, November 4.

"To be back in it again, no matter who we were going to play, it was always going to be exciting," Rodgers told the club's official website.

"But to have Real Madrid in your group, the champions last season, is going to be special.

"I'm already thinking of Anfield on that night. But there are two other good teams in it along with us.

"It's a tough group but we'll really look forward to the challenge of getting out of the group."

Rodgers insists his only focus now is on progressing from the group with his backroom staff beginning preparations for the meetings with Real, Basel and the more unknown quantity of Ludogorets.

He added: "The notion for us was to get out of the group stage - we can look no further than that.

"It was great excitement and hopefully it was great for the supporters to sit and watch the draw for the first time in five years.

"Now we know the teams that we're playing, we'll focus to get out of the group. That's as far as you can look. Once you get out of the group stages, you take it from there.

"Preparation will start straight away. Some of the teams we're well aware of; we watch the likes of Real Madrid nearly every week and we know their players.

"But as soon as the draw is finalised, the work and the focus will be on that. We have our analysis team behind the scenes who will do all the preparation work we need for our opponents. It will be exciting for them as well."