Atletico Madrid host Liverpool at the Wanda Metropolitano in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie, as Diego Simeone's side, aim to upset the reigning European champions. Jurgen Klopp's Reds are 25 points clear in the Premier League summit and head to the Spanish capital for the first since winning the Champions League in the summer, after overcoming Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the final.
Los Rojiblancos have done well in the tournament since Simeone took charge and his side will look to keep things tight and take the game to the second leg, as their primary aim will be to prevent the visitors from scoring an away goal.
Atletico Madrid v Liverpool Head to Head
This is the first competitive meeting between the two sides since the group stages of the UEFA Champions League in the 2008-09 season, when both games finished 1-1. Both Atletico Madrid and Liverpool have impressed in Europe in recent years and the game promises to be an exciting affair between two European heavyweights.
While Liverpool have never been eliminated in two-legged ties from European club competitions since Jurgen Klopp took charge, Atleti have reached 3 Europa League and 2 Champions League finals since Simeone took charge, indicating that both sides have developed a reputation of impressing in Europe recently.
Atletico Madrid form guide: L-D-L-W-D
Liverpool form guide: D-W-W-W-W
Atletico Madrid v Liverpool Team News
Only Nathaniel Clyne and Xherdan Shaqiri are injury absentees for Liverpool, as Klopp virtually has a full-strength squad at his disposal. Sadio Mane and Fabinho were benched for the weekend's fixture against Norwich City and the pair are expected to return to the starting lineup against Atleti.
Injuries: Nathaniel Clyne, Xherdan Shaqiri
Los Rojiblancos have been hampered by several injuries in recent weeks, as they are expected to be without the services of Diego Costa, Joao Felix and Kieran Trippier. Jose Gimenez was named in the bench for their previous league encounter and the Uruguayan defender could return to the starting XI, with new signing Yannick Ferreira Carrasco also in contention to feature at some point in the game.
Injuries: Diego Costa, Joao Felix, Kieran Trippier
Atletico Madrid v Liverpool Predicted XI
Atletico Madrid Predicted XI (4-4-2): Jan Oblak, Santiago Arias, Jose Gimenez, Stefan Savic, Renan Lodi, Vitolo, Saul Niguez, Thomas Partey, Koke, Alvaro Morata, Angel Correa
Liverpool Prediction (4-3-3): Alisson Becker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Andy Robertson, Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson, Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane
Atletico Madrid v Liverpool Prediction
The game is expected to be a tight affair, as Atleti aim to frustrate the reigning European champions by keeping things compact at the back. Liverpool will look to force the issue and score at least one away goal, which will put them in a good position to finish the job at Anfield two weeks from now.
Verdict - Atletico Madrid 1-1 LiverpoolPublished 17 Feb 2020, 15:53 IST