Liverpool will entertain Atletico Madrid at Anfield on Wednesday night hoping to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first-leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie. The Reds will come into this game on the back of a 2-1 win over Bournemouth last weekend. In contrast, the Madrid outfit only managed to grind out a 2-2 draw versus Sevilla on Saturday.
It is all set-up to be an exciting clash at the home of the European champions as the Merseyside giants look to conjure up another comeback while the La Liga club focuses on spoiling the party in midweek.
Jurgen Klopp will stick with his preferred 4-3-3 formation and will instruct his players to dominate the ball so that they can create some clear-cut chances going forward. The Reds will be hungry to win the ball back high up the pitch and release the likes of Mane and Salah on the break.
Diego Simeone will opt for a 4-4-2 formation and will ask his team to defend in numbers so that they can keep the home side at bay in midweek. The Atletico boss would also try to exploit Liverpool’s recent defensive weaknesses from dead-ball situations.
Jordan Henderson is a significant doubt for this game as he continues to recover from his injury. The Reds skipper will need to pass a late fitness test if he wants to start in this season-defining Champions League clash in midweek. Andrew Robertson is also a slight worry, but the hope is that he will be able to recover in time for the match.
The hosts won’t have the services of Alisson Becker, Xherdan Shaqiri and Nathaniel Clyne available on Wednesday as they are all out of action due to injury.
Liverpool Predicted XI
Adrian; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Salah, Firmino, Mane
Kieran Trippier is a slight doubt for this clash, but otherwise, Simeone should have a healthy squad available for selection for this trip to Merseyside.
Atletico Madrid Predicted XI
Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Felipe, Renan Lodi; Saul Niguez, Partey, Koke, Joao Felix; Correa, Morata
Virgil Van Dijk will need to be at his best if the Reds are to secure an all-important clean sheet in midweek. Both Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah will carry most of the goal-scoring workload, and so they need to be ruthless in the final third.
The Liverpool attackers had hardly tested Jan Oblak in the first leg, but he can expect a much busier night when he laces up in between the sticks for Simeone’s side in midweek. The Slovenian keeper needs to be at his best if he wants to keep his European dreams alive for this campaign. Joao Felix will be instructed to run the channels and cause a lot of headaches for the Liverpool defenders, and so his overall impact could very well determine the fate of this tie.
The bookmakers have made Liverpool the favourites to emerge victorious at Anfield on Wednesday after they were priced at 59/100. The draw has been listed as 3/1 while the La Liga outfit are 6/1 underdogs to pull off an upset versus the reigning champions of Europe.
It is also worth noting that the bookies have made Atletico the slight favourites to secure qualification into the next round after they were priced at 7/10 while the Reds are 21/20 underdogs to complete another famous comeback in front of their home supporters.
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