Champions League Round Of 16 : Atletico Madrid Vs Liverpool Match Preview, Team News, Line Up, Live Info

Liverpool Vs Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid
(Champions League)
1.30 AM IST (UTC +5:30)
Wanda Metropolitano Stadium

Full Time
Man of The Match - Saul
Liverpool XI:
Alisson, Robertson, Gomez, Van Dijk, AA, Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson, Mane, Firmin, Salah.
Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid XI:
Oblak, Lodi, Savic, Felipe, Vrsaljko, Saul, Koke, Partey, Lemar, Correa, Morata.

Match Preview

European Cup holders Liverpool will travel to Atletico Madrid for their first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie on Tuesday night.

The Reds are closing in on their first league title for 30 years but will be determined to pick up a positive result at the Wanda Metropolitano ahead of the second leg at Anfield on March 11.

Having won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions, it would be fair to say that Atletico will not enter Tuesday's clash with the European champions in the best of form.

Atletico have been dumped out of the Copa del Rey and lost in the Spanish Super Cup final since the turn of the year, in addition to suffering league defeats to Eibar and Real Madrid.

Diego Simeone's side have actually only picked up two league successes in 2020 and sit fourth in Spain's top flight, only two points clear of sixth-placed Villarreal on the same number of matches.

Atletico also lost two of their six matches in the group stages of the Champions League but still managed to finish second in the section behind Juventus to advance to the last-16 stage of the competition.

Tuesday's clash will actually be just the fifth meeting between Atletico and Liverpool in European competition, and the Spanish giants triumphed on away goals following a 2-2 draw when they last locked horns in the semi-finals of the 2010 Europa League.

It will be the first time that these two teams have faced each other in the Champions League since the group stages of the 2008-09 competition, when both matches finished 1-1.

Atletico might be the underdogs heading into this two-legged fixture, but they have won four of their last six ties in the round of 16 and have lost just once in 12 visits from English clubs, winning seven times in the process during an impressive run of form.

Los Rojiblancos have also reached two Champions League and three Europa League finals in the last 10 seasons, which is an indication of their pedigree. As a result, Liverpool will certainly be wary of the threat that the capital giants could provide despite their struggles this term.

Diego Costa's absence through injury has hit them hard in the final third, though, and there will be a lot of pressure on Alvaro Morata, who returned from injury in the 2-2 draw with Valencia on Friday night, to score the goals against Jurgen Klopp's side.

The fact that Liverpool played on Saturday evening against Norwich City - recording a 1-0 victory - while Atletico were in action on Friday should hand the Spanish side an advantage in terms of recovery.

The Reds are so comfortable in England's top flight, though, and the clash with the Canaries, which was decided by a Sadio Mane effort, was not too taxing for the runaway league leaders.

Klopp's team are now 25 points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table, while their presence in the FA Cup means that the treble is very much on for the club this season.

In terms of this season's Champions League, Liverpool won Group E with 13 points, one clear of second-placed Napoli despite losing to the Italian side on Matchday One. Winning back-to-back European Cups would be some achievement for the club, but there is still a long way to go in the competition.

The Merseyside giants beat Bayern Munich, Porto and Barcelona to make the 2019 Champions League final, where they won a sixth European Cup courtesy of a 2-0 success over Tottenham Hotspur.

The Reds have actually won their last 11 two-legged European ties, while they have been victorious in nine of their last 12 European fixtures, suffering just one defeat in the process during an incredible run.

History suggests that Liverpool will progress from this two-legged tie considering that they have won six of their previous seven last-16 ties in this competition. That said, the Premier League leaders have lost seven of their last 13 UEFA matches outside of England.

It would be fair to say that Atletico are not the same team as previous seasons, but Liverpool are enjoying a quite remarkable campaign. The Reds have won their last four matches in all competitions without conceding, although Napoli's two performances against them earlier this season will hand Atletico some hope.

Simeone will just want to stay in the contest ahead of the second leg at Anfield next month, and it is shaping up to be a fascinating clash in the Spanish capital on Tuesday night.

Team News And Statistics

Atletico Madrid continue to be plagued with injury problems in the attacking department as key players Diego Costa and Joao Felix are once again doubts for the game. Alvaro Morata returned to action against Valencia at the weekend, which will be a boost, but Kieran Trippier and Hector Herrera are still sidelined.

There are unlikely to be a whole lot of changes made to the side that started the last league game. Jan Oblak is the undisputed choice in goal and will need to be at his best to keep a dangerous Liverpool side at bay.

Jose Maria Gimenez is back to full fitness, but was benched against Valencia. He is in line to start on Tuesday along with Felipe at the heart of the Atleti defence. Santiago Arias is expected to start at right-back again, having returned to action last time out, while Renan Lodi is a certainty on the opposite side.

Thomas Partey and Marcos Llorente both scored in the draw against Valencia at the weekend and are expected to hold the fort in the middle of the park against Liverpool again. Flanking the central midfielders should be Saul Niguez and captain Koke.

Predicted XI :Oblak; Arias, Gimenez, Felipe, Lodi; Koke, Llorente, Partey, Niguez; Correa, Morata.

   Unlike Atletico, Liverpool almost have a clean bill of health, with Xherdan Shaqiri and long-term absentee Nathaniel Clyne the only two players ruled out from the trip to Spain. There could be a couple of changes made by Jurgen Klopp to the side that started against Norwich this past weekend.

Alisson Becker has been brilliant for Liverpool and is a certainty to feature between the sticks, while the first-choice backline of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson is unlikely to be tinkered with by Klopp.

There should be a change in the middle of the park, with Brazilian enforcer Fabinho slotting in at the base of the three-man midfield unit. His inclusion will allow Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson to move into a slightly advanced role and have more of an impact in the final third. Gini Wijnaldum is a shoo-on for the third midfield slot.

The attacking unit also ought to see a solitary change, with Sadio Mane coming back into the starting XI after having made a successful return from injury against Norwich. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be the one to make way.

Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have played more Champions League games than anyone else since 2017-18, featuring in 31 of Liverpool’s 32 games. They will once again be starting on Tuesday at Atletico, completing the Reds’ attacking trifecta.

Predicted XI : Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane.

Sports Track Score Prediction

Recent  H2H  Matches
WON : 1
LOSS : 2
DRAW : 3
WON : 2
LOSS : 1
DRAW : 3

Recent 6 Matches
WON : 5
LOSS : 0
DRAW : 1
WON : 1
LOSS : 3
DRAW : 2

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