Match Preview: Liverpool VS Atletico Madrid

By Callum Ferguson

Sub-edited by Riley Taylor

Liverpool are set to play Atletico Madrid in the Round of 16 tomorrow night.

The match is interestedly poised, with the visitors having a 1-0 lead following the first leg between the two sides, played on the February 18.

Saul scored the only goal in that game, capitalising from weak defending by Liverpool following a corner. In true Madrid fashion, they defended strongly and were able to hold out the Champions of Europe. This is something that very few have been able to do.

Highlights to the first leg between Atletico Madrid and Liverpool

Since Liverpool’s defeat to Atletico, they have dipped in form slightly, losing two of their following four games. Whilst this is uncharacteristic from the Reds, it is still difficult to fault the league leaders who are now 25 points clear.

However, Liverpool did struggle in their recent game. A nervy 2-1 win against Bournemouth last Saturday which could easily be forgotten and written off as a victory, but there are several nuances that can be discussed. 

Defensive errors

Whilst for the large majority of the season, Liverpool have one of the best defensive sides in Europe, they have begun to concede more goals as of late. Since the first leg, Liverpool have conceded eight goals in all competitions in four games. The previous eight goals that Liverpool conceded came across a 15 game period, which started in November 2019.

Article by James Pearce about how to play against Atletico

Whilst they have had a few injury concerns at the back, Liverpool have mostly fielded their strongest back five (Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson). 

Liverpool are now without goalkeeper, Alisson who is out of the game due to injury, with Adrian replacing him. Adrian had to play for the first couple of months because of Alisson being injured at the start of the season and seemed to impress the majority of people. However, in the last couple of games, he looked nervous and made a couple of rash decisions, making the defenders and Anfield crowd worried. This game will be a big step-up for Adrian who will need to be at his best if Liverpool are to win.

Missing Jordan Henderson

Whilst many people persist to ignore the quality of Henderson, it is no surprise that Liverpool’s poor form has come when the captain has been injured. The Englishman had been in the form of his career, instilling intensity and belief into the rest of the team and leading them fantastically.

Liverpool have been given some positive news before the game, though, with Jurgen Klopp confirming in the press conference that Henderson will be fit to start against Atletico. This will be his first game back from injury and despite being a boost for the Reds, will need the rest of his team to help him. 

Bobby still looking for Anfield goal

Roberto Firmino is an influential player for Liverpool and their style of play but he has struggled finding the net himself this season. He has eight Premier League goals this season and is still looking for his first at Anfield. 

The Brazilian failed to make an impact against Bournemouth and was absent from the game for long periods of time. 

Liverpool claiming their sixth Champions League, beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0

Madrid will set up to defend their lead, so Liverpool will need all three of their elusive strike force at their best to score on Wednesday night.

Should the game finish 1-0 to Liverpool, it will go to extra-time and potentially penalties. 

Featured imaged by Creative Commons. No changes were made

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