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Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid prediction: Liverpool 2-0 Atletico Madrid (AET)
Liverpool welcome Atlético Madrid to Anfield on Wednesday evening for the first time in nearly ten years since these two sides last met each other in back-to-back seasons.
Firstly, during the 2008/09 season in the Champions League Group D where they played out a 1-1 draw here. They met again in the Europa League semi-finals second leg the following season. While Liverpool won 2-1 on the night, they were eliminated on away goals having lost 0-1 in Madrid.
The Reds fans will be hoping they don’t experience déjà vu on Wednesday evening.
Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid: What is needed to qualify?
Any win for Liverpool by two or more goals will see them through to the UEFA Champions League quarter-final stage for a third consecutive season.
A 1-0 win for Liverpool would see the match go to extra time and then penalties. Any other Liverpool win by a one-goal margin would see them eliminated from the competition.
Should the match end in stalemate or Atletico victory, it would see Atleti make their first Champions League quarter-final appearance since the 2016/17 season.
They were eliminated by Real Madrid that season in the semi-finals following a sensational Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick in the second leg.
Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid: Who will win?
Liverpool have won emphatically their previous two home legs of knockout competitions at Anfield under Jurgen Klopp against Spanish opposition.
They beat Villarreal 3-0 here in the Europa League semi-final en-route to the 2015/16 final, where they lost to Sevilla. And how can we forget the 4-0 thrashing they gave Barca here last season in the semis of this competition? Liverpool are the 11/20 favourites to win the match in normal time.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico have drawn 1-1 on each of their last three visits to England. Most recently, they snatched a 1-1 draw at Arsenal in April 2018 in their Europa League semi final first leg. They won the return leg 1-0 in Madrid seeing them through to the final, where they defeated Marseille 3-0. Atleti are 29/10 to pick up another draw on Wednesday evening to see them through to the quarter final stage.
Atlético Madrid have won only two of their fourteen visits to English soil; a 14% win rate. They have also struggled on their travels this season, winning just one of their last ten away days in La Liga. This sees Los Rojiblancos start the match as 11/2 outsiders to pick up their first ever victory at Anfield.
Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid: Who will score?
Mohamed Salah scored Liverpool’s first goal in their 2-1 win over Bournemouth at the weekend. He is also Liverpool’s top goal-scorer in the Champions League this season, with four goals. This sees Salah start the match as the 10/3 favourite to break the deadlock for Liverpool on Wednesday. Or you can back the Egyptian King at 21/20 to score at any time.
Sadio Mané had a night to forget in Madrid. He was booked in the first half after numerous clashes with Sime Vrsaljko. This saw his manager, Jurgen Klopp, remove him at half-time in fear of the Senegalese international being shown a red card.
Mané responded by scoring the winning goal against West Ham in his next game. He repeated the feat against Bournemouth at the weekend. Sadio is 13/10 to take his frustration from the first leg out on Atletico with a goal on Wednesday evening. Or you can back Mané at 4/1 to score the game’s opening goal.
João Félix missed the first leg due to injury. However, the Portuguese international made a scoring return to the starting XI at the weekend against Sevilla. He is Atleti’s joint-top scorer in the Champions League this season with two goals. Felix starts the match at 9/1 to score the game’s opener for Atletico. He is 10/3 to grab a goal at any time during the game.
Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid: Match preview
Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat in Madrid started a run of three consecutive away defeats. Only a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over West Ham prevented them taking their first home defeat since losing 2-1 to Chelsea in the Carabao Cup in September 2018.
Even then, the Reds had the caveat of it being a much-changed ‘cup side’ involving fringe players such as Alberto Moreno and Simon Mignolet. Their last Anfield defeat in Premier League or Champions League competition was their 1-2 defeat back in April 2017 to Crystal Palace.
The main question being raised at the moment is whether this Liverpool side can break down an Atletico low-block. It is interesting to note that this Liverpool side seems to be at their most dangerous when chasing a lead.
The Reds average 2.81 goals per 90 when a goal behind in the league this season. This is up 29% on their average of 2.18 goals per 90 this season. These numbers underpin their fantastic ability at turning losing positions around under Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool have managed to win five and draw one of the seven league games in which they have been losing this season. This has seen them collect on average 2.29 point per game when behind. The next best Premier League side is Wolves, who average 1.11 points per game from a losing position.
Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid: A look at the visitors
Of course, we have heard how this Atleti side is a different animal and how stingy they are at the back. However, the data doesn’t really support this statement.
Atletico Madrid average just 0.75 goals against per 90 this season. This rises to 1.33 goals against per 90 when they are a goal ahead. Overall, Los Rojiblancos have been 78.2% more likely to concede a goal this season when they are a goal ahead.
Obviously, these numbers measure what has been and not what will be. But they do break down the idea that Atletico will be impenetrable in their low block.
Shutting down one of Liverpool’s key men, Sadio Mané, was crucial to their win in Madrid. This leaves Diego Simeone with something of a selection headache for Wednesday. Sime Vrsaljko was excellent in getting under Mané’s skin in the first leg. It was enough to see Liverpool remove the forward at half time. It is possible Simeone will opt to select both Keiran Trippier and Vrsaljko to lock down Liverpool’s left flank.
Liverpool team news vs Atletico Madrid
Xherdan Shaqiri, Yasser Larouci and Nathaniel Clyne remain ruled out from the squad that travelled to Madrid three weeks ago.
Alisson Becker picked up a hip injury in the final training sessions before the weekend’s 2-1 win over Bournemouth. Klopp expects the Brazilian international back after the international break but it looks unlikely he will be ready for Wednesday.
Andrew Robertson missed Liverpool’s win at the weekend due to a slight problem. He was rested as a precaution and should be fit to start for Wednesday.
Jordan Henderson was withdrawn ten minutes from time in the first leg due to an injury. He has missed Liverpool’s last four matches with a hamstring strain. However, Henderson is now back in full training and may be involved in some capacity on Wednesday evening.
Predicted Liverpool team vs Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid team news vs Liverpool
Thomas Lemar started the first leg for Atletico Madrid on the left of a midfield four. However, he has been absent since then with a muscle injury. Marcos Llorente, who replaced him at half-time in the first leg, is expected to start in his place.
Kieran Trippier has been Atleti’s first choice right back since his summer move from Tottenham Hotspur. He missed the first leg due to a groin strain but started at the weekend against Sevilla.
Renan Lodi was considered by many to be the man of the match in Atletico’s first leg victory. The Brazilian left-back was rested for the weekend’s 2-2 draw with Sevilla. Lodi is expected to start once again on Wednesday evening.
Thomas Partey was suspended for Atletico Madrid’s last league match on Saturday. The Ghanaian will be restored to the starting XI against Liverpool.
Atleti’s record signing, João Félix, missed the first leg due to a leg injury. He made his first start for the club at the weekend, since his injury and scored their second goal. The Portuguese international is also expected to start at Anfield.
Predicted Atletico Madrid team vs Liverpool
All odds mentioned in this article are correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.
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