UCL GROUP B CLASH : Atletico Madrid V/S Liverpool

Introduction

One of the toughest groups of death in Champions League history is about to come to a close with this heavyweight clash. With both teams looking to nail their spots in the top 2 coming on the back of fine form this is set to be a great encounter.

 Luckily for the Reds, they have won both their group fixtures- against AC Milan and FC Porto, and sit comfortably at the top of Group B. They will surely be targeting the top spot now.

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As for Los Colchoneros, they are second in the group with 4 points and overtake Liverpool with a win in Madrid this week and are already on the back of a big win against Barcelona in La Liga.

Why Should You be Watching?

Liverpool and Atletico Madrid met in one of the most famous recent UEFA Champions League encounters last year. The Reds thought they completed a second-leg comeback (sort of, at least) but Adrian San Miguel’s errors single-handedly ruined Liverpool’s chances of progression that night in extra time and the Reds crashed out of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League season in embarrassing fashion.

They would want to recreate those memories once again but luckily for Liverpool, Alisson Becker will play this game.

Build Up with facts

  1. Liverpool have failed to win any of their four UEFA Champions League matches against Atlético Madrid (D2 L2), only facing Basel as often (also four times) without winning in their European Cup/Champions League history.
  • Liverpool have lost six of their last seven away UEFA European matches on Spanish soil (D1) since beating Real Madrid in the last 16 of the 2008-09 Champions League.
  • Four of Atlético Madrid’s last seven goals in the UEFA Champions League have been scored in the final 10 minutes of play, including each of the last three in a row
Simone ( Atletico) and Klopp (Liverpool )
Simone ( Atletico) and Klopp (Liverpool )

Team Form

Liverpool: WDWDW

Atletico: DWLWW

Head to Head

Four of Atlético Madrid’s last seven goals in the UEFA Champions League have been scored in the final 10 minutes of play, including each of the last three in a row

Historically, Atletico has beaten Liverpool 4 times whereas Liverpool has beaten them just once in a total of 8 encounters between the two with the other 3 being draws.

Predicted Lineups

Liverpool

Liverpool has a mini injury crisis already, this time in midfield. Midfielder Thiago Alcantara is sidelined and Naby Keita could also miss the game.

Predicted 11 

Alison, Arnold,  Konate, Van Dijk, Tsimikas, Fabinho, Henderson, Curtis Jones, Salah, Firmino, Mane

Atletico

Simeone’s men would be without Stefan Savic and probably Jose Maria Gimenez for this game. The two defenders could be a big absence in their defense, while Liverpool’s arch-nemesis from 2020, Marcos Llorente, could also be sidelined along with Matheus Cunha

Predicted 11

Oblak, Trippier,Felipe,  Hermosa,  Vrsaljko, Koke,De Paul, Lemar, Carrasco, Griezmann, Suarez

Players to Watch Out For

Liverpool

Salah

One of the fastest players to reach 100 goals for a single club in the Premier League Salah has firmly established himself as a Liverpool legend. A pivotal piece in bringing the sixth Champions League title to Merseyside and helping the Reds to end their 30 year-long league title drought. It is quite clear that Mohammed Salah has crafted an indisputable Premier League legacy, but he had to take the hard road to get there.

Salah and Curtis Jones (Liverpool)
Salah and Curtis Jones (Liverpool)

Curtis Jones

The kid who stole the hearts of Liverpool fans all over the world with a Merseyside derby pearler is now energizing the heart of Liverpool’s midfield.  It’s difficult to predict what Curtis Jones will become; his creative habits have been inhibited by his current role, but his current role is also showing signs of the complete midfielder that Jones could become.

Atletico Madrid

Luis Suarez

Just like David Villa before him, Suarez left Barcelona to join Atletico and won the LaLiga Santander title in his first campaign in the capital. The Uruguayan No. 9 has been a fox in the box all campaign, providing Diego Simeone with one of the best finishers he has ever had during his coaching career. Suarez will look to continue scoring in the CL against tough opposition.

De Paul and Suarez (Atletico Madrid)
De Paul and Suarez (Atletico Madrid)

Rodrigo De Paul

De Paul could hopefully solve Atleti’s goal-scoring woes by adding more numbers in attack, creating likewise with his fearless progressive passing. It’s natural for the average football fan to fear that Simeone, known for his overtly defensive tactics may well get it wrong with one of the best midfielders in the business currently.

Conclusion

The Reds are too strong on paper but Atletico is at home and Diego Simeone’s anti-football is no secret for anyone anymore. We expect a cagey affair here men against. A draw would be an ideal result for both teams if they were to not win this game, and perhaps Liverpool would be happier with it than the hosts.

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