Atletico Madrid – Liverpool
The holder of the Champions League trophy Liverpool starts on Tuesday its campaign in the knockout phase of the competition. The English club will visit Estadio Wanda Metropolitano to face Atletico Madrid in a first 1/8-finals game.
Atletico Madrid reached twice the Champions League final under Diego Simeone, but according to many pundits, Cholo’s magic is starting to die in Atletico. The team is not looking as strong as it was few years ago and the fact that Atletico are currently 4th in La Liga speaks for itself. But still, we should not write them off, of course.
Diego Simeone has some squad problems before the first game against Liverpool. The team’s best striker Diego Costa remains injured, while the most expensive player in the club’s history Joao Felix is having injury problems as well. Hector Herrera and Kieran Trippier are also getting treatment. All four of them didn’t play during the 2-2 draw with Valencia on Friday. It was Marcos Llorente and Thomas Partey scored the goals for Los Colchoneros.
Liverpool won the Champions League last season and you can bet they are hungry for more. The Reds are having one of the best seasons in their history so far and their performance in the Premier League is just incredible. In 25 games played in the English elite so far, Liverpool have won 24 of them and didn’t lose any. They are going to win the Premier League this season, but it’d be interesting to see their performance in Europe, too.
The return of Sadio Mane is the best news the manager Jurgen Klopp could have get before this first game against Atletico. Mane even scored the winning goal against Norwich City on Saturday. He’s a crucial player for the Reds.
It’d be very difficult for Atletico Madrid against Liverpool as the English side is probably the best in the world right now. Now it’s up to Atleti’s manager Diego Simeone to come with a masterplan for this match at the Wanda.