Best Odds: 23/10
The UEFA Champions League is back in our lives this week as the knockout stage of the competition gets underway. There are plenty of fascinating features for fans to enjoy over the course of the eight two-legged ties, with arguably one of the most intriguing being the clash between Atletico Madrid and reigning European champions Liverpool. With both still having an awful lot to play for elsewhere it’ll be interesting to see how things shape up when they meet on Wednesday night.
The Atletico Madrid of old have felt a little bit more lethargic than usual in recent months, to the point where they already appear to be out of the La Liga title race. While they do always appear to thrive on the European stage this isn’t going to be a walk in the park for them and in fact, many people already have them down as the underdogs. That’s the kind of tag they’ll be living for, though, with Diego Simeone being a man who doesn’t shy away from a challenge.
Trippier and Herrera are both out of action for this one whereas Felix, Costa and Morata are all doubts for what many consider to be Atletico’s biggest game of the season so far.
The Premier League title is almost certainly on its way to Anfield, but while they wait for their official coronation, they do need to ensure that they remain focused on trying to retain their Champions League crown. It wouldn’t be the end of the world if they wind up dropping out of the competition but with that being said, the European Cup has always felt a little bit more important to this club than most other big sides across the continent.
The only big injury worry for Klopp is the absence of Shaqiri, but aside from that, the German boss is expected to go with his strongest possible starting XI at Wanda Metropolitano.
Factors to Consider
- Atletico Madrid finished 2nd in Group D with 10 points from six games, whereas Liverpool finished 1st in Group E with 13 points from six games.
- Atletico have won one, drawn two and lost three of their last six games.
- Liverpool have won five and drawn one of their last six games.
- Atletico have scored four goals and conceded seven in their last six games.
- Liverpool have scored 12 goals and conceded three in their last six games.
The important factor for Liverpool will be seeing whether or not they can squeeze the life out of Atletico, and that’ll be determined throughout the course of the game as opposed to in the first five minutes. We think the Spaniards will be able to hold firm from a defensive standpoint, frustrating the Reds in the process. It’ll be a tight game and probably not the most eventful affair but in the end, the hosts will have something to take back to Anfield.
Best Odds: 23/10
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