Liverpool Vs Atletico Madrid Preview – Team news, prediction and probable starting lineups


Liverpool Vs Atletico Madrid Preview – Team news, prediction and probable starting lineups
Salah will be key for Liverpool as they try and unlock a miser Atletico Madrid defense

While the reigning European champions are coming into this game with a victory over the weekend, Atleti drew 2-2 with Sevilla on Saturday.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp would be hoping to keep his perfect Champions League knockout stage record intact when his side take on Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid at Anfield in the second leg of their R16 clash on Wednesday evening.

The former Borussia Dortmund boss holds the enviable record of not losing a two-legged European knockout tie since his arrival at the Merseyside in October 2015. That’s an unbelievable stat which has allowed the Reds to qualify for the final of every European competition they have qualified for under the tutelage of their German manager.

However, if there is one manager in Europe whose own record in the knockout stages is comparable to that of Klopp, it has to be Simeone. The fiery-tempered Argentine manager has never lost to a team in the knockout stages of the Champions League that hasn’t featured Cristiano Ronaldo in its squad.

Consequently, when both the sides go head to head tomorrow, not only a place in the quarter-finals of this season’s Champions League will be on stake.

Team news of both sides

Jordan Henderson gives Liverpool huge injury boost
(Image Copyright: imago images / Xinhua)

The return of skipper Jordan Henderson, who missed the last four games after limping off in the first leg, would undoubtedly serve as a boost for the home side.

Henderson is rightly dubbed as the engine of this Liverpool side as his energy in the heart of the Reds’ midfield as well as his influence on those around him was sorely missed by the Premier League leaders as they went on to lose 3 of the four games that they played without him in the squad.

The potential return of Andrew Robertson will further strengthen the Reds’ lineup. The Scottish left-back missed his side’s weekend’s victory over Bournemouth with a slight injury but is expected to reclaim full fitness in time for the Wednesday’s clash. Goalkeeper Alisson Becker remains out with the hip injury, though, with 2nd choice Adrian set to serve as his replacement once again.

Atleti has fitness concerns of their own in the build-up to the game which midfielder Koke described as a ‘final’ after last weekend’s stalemate at Seville. Former Spurs right-back Kieran Trippier is a doubt for this clash after he was seen limping in the aftermath of the weekend’s fixture.

Doubts persist over the fitness of Alvaro Morata as well after Diego Costa replaced the ex-Chelsea striker on 68 minutes on Saturday. However, Joao Felix, who started the game on Saturday, is once again available for selection after missing the first leg.

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Prediction and probable starting lineups

Arsenal preparing summer bid for Atletico Madrid midfielder
The 26-year-old has a €50m clause in his contract

Apart from the already mentioned record which Klopp holds in the knockout stages of European competitions as Liverpool manager, two more factors favor the Reds to knock Atleti out of the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

The reigning European champions are unbeaten at home in their last 25 games, a run which stretches back to the back-end of October 2015. During that period, the Reds have escaped defeat despite facing the likes of Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-German, Bayern Munich, and Barcelona among other heavyweights.

Another stat which goes in favor of Liverpool is the form of their Wednesday’s guests on the road. Simeone’s men are yet to win an away game in 2020, and have tasted only one victory in their last 13 away games across all competitions. For this reason, Liverpool are the favorites to deal another blow to Atletico’s already faltering season.

Predicted Liverpool starting lineup Vs Atletico Madrid: Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane

Predicted Atletico Madrid starting lineup Vs Liverpool: Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Gimenez, Lodi; Correa, Partey, Niguez, Koke; Felix, Morata

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