Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid
Anfield Stadium, Liverpool
Wednesday, 11-03-2020 @11pm
Ref: Danny Makkelie (Hol)
Liverpool will be hoping to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Atletico Madrid when the two face off in the second leg of their Champions League round of 16.
The Spanish side are in the driving seat following a Saul Niguez strike at the Wanda Metropolitano three weeks ago.
However, they must be concerned as Liverpool always has something in store for any side when they play at Anfield.
The Kops have been handed a major injury boost ahead of the visit of Atletico Madrid for the Champions League Round of 16 second leg. Jordan Henderson has trained at the onset of the week and should make his return for Liverpool for the first time since sustaining a hamstring injury in the first leg.
With Henderson back in contention, Klopp will be bereft of the services of just three first-team players. One of these absentees, though, is a major miss, with Alisson Becker on the sidelines nursing a hip injury. Apart from Alisson, Liverpool will also be without long-term absentees Nathaniel Clyne and Xherdan Shaqiri.
Henderson should slot straight back into the starting lineup against Atletico Madrid. The Liverpool captain ought to have Fabinho and Georginio Wijnaldum for company in the middle of the park, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain dropping down to the bench.
The only other change to the side should see Andrew Robertson returning in the left-back slot after being rested in the Premier League win over Bournemouth this past weekend. Robertson will join the other regulars Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk in the back four, with Adrian starting in goal in the absence of Alisson.
Upfront, the three-pronged attack will have Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane pairing up once again in the three-pronged attack, with Divock Origi and Takumi Minamino being backup options.
Unlike Jurgen Klopp, Diego Simeone has a full-strength squad to choose from ahead of the trip to Anfield for the latest Champions League contest. Thomas Lemar and Alvaro Morata are the latest players to have made themselves available after recovering from their respective injuries.
Morata should retain his place in the starting lineup after regaining fitness, pairing up with young Joao Felix in the strike partnership. Morata’s presence upfront means Angel Correa will start on the right side of the Atletico Madrid midfield once again.
Correa will provide the width and X-Factor from midfield, which will otherwise look to contain Liverpool while primarily looking to string together short passes when on the ball. As for the rest of the midfielders, Thomas Partey, Saul Niguez and Atletico Madrid captain Koke are certain starters.
At the back, Jose Maria Gimenez and Stefan Savic should form the central defensive partnership, while Kieran Trippier and Renan Lodi will form the full-back pairing. Finally, there is no looking past Jan Oblak in the Atletico Madrid goal.
Liverpool have never lost against Atletico Madrid at Anfield in two previous European meetings, drawing 1-1 in the Champions League group stage in 2008-09 and winning 2-1 in the second leg of the Europa League semi-final in 2009-10. On each of the last two occasions Liverpool have lost away from home in the first leg of a Champions League knockout match, they have progressed to the next round; the Reds eliminated Chelsea and Barcelona in the semi-finals in 2006-07 and 2018-19. In major UEFA European competitions, seven of Atletico Madrid’s 13 away visits to England have ended in draws (W2 L4), with Los Colchoneros unbeaten in their last four matches in the country (W1 D3), since losing to Liverpool in April 2010. Atletico have progressed from four of their five previous Champions League knockout ties when winning the first leg, failing only in last season’s Round of 16 tie against Juventus (2-0 first leg, 0-3 second leg). Jurgen Klopp is yet to lose a home Champions League game with Liverpool (W11 D4); Klopp’s last two home defeats in the competition have been in the Round of 16 home leg matches with Borussia Dortmund in 2013-14 (1-2 vs Zenit St. Petersburg) and 2014-15 (0-3 vs Juventus).
The other game on Wednesday
-PSG vs Borussia Dortmund @11pm