Liverpool vs Atlético Madrid Champions League preview

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020 12:02pm

By Ali McDowall

Liverpool are hoping for another magical European night at Anfield as they look to complete a comeback in the second leg of their Last-16 Champions League tie with Atlético Madrid. 

The Reds’ invincibility is over as a run of three losses in the last five games in all competitions put an end to both their FA Cup run and hopes of an unbeaten league campaign. 

Despite their season hitting a minor roadblock, there is still reason to be positive for Jürgen Klopp’s side as captain Jordan Henderson is fit to return. In addition they have never lost to Atlético at Anfield in European competition. 

Klopp is in fact unbeaten at home with Liverpool in the Champions League having won 11 and drawn four of the 15 games they’ve played. 

Furthermore on the last two occasions they have lost away from home in the first-leg of a Champions League knockout fixture, they have gone on to the return leg.

Even with the weight of history behind them, the Scousers will need to put in a near perfect performance in this evening’s must-win match to ensure passage into the quarter-finals and keep their dreams of retaining their European crown alive. 

Meanwhile Atlético have only won three of their last 11 and sit sixth in La Liga, but are unbeaten in their last six and take a 1-0 aggregate lead into tonight’s tie.

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Diego Simeone’s men have been masters of quieting crowds and stifling opposition just like they did at the Metropolitano Stadium last month and will look to do so again tonight. 

Los Colchoneros have an impressive record of closing out ties from winning positions having progressed on four of their last five Champions League knockout ties when they’ve won the first leg.

The players will also take confidence from the fact they only need to draw, something they have done on seven of their last 13 visits to England. 

They are also unbeaten on English soil since April 2010 when they lost to tonight’s opponents Liverpool. 

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All things considered, with a place in the last eight at stake, tonight’s captivating contest is set up to be a classic European night. 

Team news 

Liverpool 

Liverpool will be boosted by the return of captain Jordan Henderson, who has missed the last four games since limping off in the first leg with a hamstring injury.

Klopp is hopeful of having Andrew Robertson back available after the defender missed the weekend win over Bournemouth with a slight injury.

The hosts will be without first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker, though, with the Brazilian sidelined due to a hip injury and Adrian set to deputise once again.

Xherdan Shaqiri and Nathaniel Clyne are Liverpool's other absentees from a team which, aside from the returns of Henderson and Robertson, could show no changes from the weekend.

Atlético Madrid

Joao Felix, Kieran Trippier and Hector Herrera were among the players that arrived on Merseyside after the trio missed the first-leg due to injury.

A thigh issue forced Thomas Lemar off midway through that encounter, but the French midfielder has travelled with the La Liga outfit. 

Alvaro Morata, however, will undergo a late fitness test to determine if he has sufficiently recovered from a muscular problem, according to his manager.

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