Opinion: Liverpool need to play out of their skins to beat Atletico Madrid
- Recent form is on the side of the team from Madrid and the defending champions can find themselves in a spot of bother
Liverpool take on Atlético Madrid in the second leg of their round of 16 clash in the UEFA Champions League at Anfield on Wednesday. Jürgen Klopp's men were handed an unlikely 1-0 defeat by Diego Simeone's Atlético side in the first leg held at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid and they will be itching to turn the tables and get a win.
Liverpool will most probably be without the services of regular goalkeeper Alisson Becker along with long-time absentee Xherdan Shaqiri. Left-back Andrew Robertson and club captain Jordan Henderson too are doubtful to start but Klopp will be hoping that he can get a full-strength side on the pitch for the second leg. Atlético do not have any significant absentees in their line-up aside from Thomas Lemar, who is a doubtful starter.
Recent form is on Atlético Madrid's side as they come into this game on the back of two wins and three draws in their last five matches whereas Liverpool have three defeats and two wins in their last five. Diego Simeone's side will be banking heavily on Alvaro Morata, Diego Costa and Saúl Ñíguez to help them sail through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. They will also be helped by midfielders Koke and Thomas Partey, who add depth and versatility to their line-up.
Liverpool, on the other hand, will be hoping that their star forwards Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané can continue their fine rise in form and get them past the obstacles that Atleti are going to put up for them. Full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold and centre-back Virgil van Dijk hold the key in Liverpool's defence and they will have to rise to the ocassion for their club to go through to the quarter-finals.
The defending champions are in an unusual spot of bother as it hasn't been very often that they have been defeated so resoundly by anyone this season until they lost again to Norwich. This is going to be a new feeling for Klopp's men as they come into the second leg at Anfield to go all-out in search of victory. Atlético are a top side and the Reds will have to play out of their skins to defeat them and hold a chance of defending their Champions League title.
Also see | 3 things Atletico Madrid need to do to beat Liverpool at Anfield tonight: UEFA Champions League 2019-20
Published 11 Mar 2020, 11:21 IST