Liverpool (4-1-2) vs. Atletico Madrid (4-1-2)
UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at 4:00 pm ET (Anfield)
Line and Odds: Liverpool -182/Atletico Madrid +612 — Over -119/Under +106
FREE SOCCER Pick Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid
Defending champions look to overturn deficit
Liverpool host Atletico Madrid in the second-leg of their UEFA Champions League Round of 16 tie. The Reds were put to the sword in the first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano, where they failed to get a single shot on target by a staunch Atletico defense, but if the signs from the last two seasons are anything to go by, they usually win big at Anfield. The match promises to be an entertaining one though Atletico are likely to revert to lying deep in their half and defending their slender advantage.
Jurgen Klopp’s men seemed to have suffered a burnout of sorts in recent weeks. They have three wins and two losses in their last five matches. Liverpool‘s run began with the first leg against Atletico as they stuttered to a 1-0 loss away from home. The loss seemed to take the wind out of their sails as the Reds then struggled to see off West Ham 3-2 at home. This was followed by successive losses, first 3-0 to Watford in the league, ending their hopes of becoming the next Invincibles. They then lost 2-0 to a youthful Chelsea side to signal a conclusion to their hopes of a treble as well. Liverpool did respond to these results with a 2-1 home win over Bournemouth through another laboured performance, leaving them on the cusp of a first Premier League title in 30 years.
Diego Simeone’s side have been consistently inconsistent, which is more than enough reason for them lying in fifth place in the La Liga table. Atletico have three draws and two wins in their last five matches. Their run began with a 2-2 draw at Valencia, before consecutive home victories, 1-0 over Liverpool and 3-1 over fellow Europe hopefuls Villarreal seemed to bring back some much-needed momentum. However, Simeone’s men could only follow it up with two more draws, 1-1 at Espanyol and 2-2 at home to Sevilla. Atletico do not look like Liga contenders and have been knocked out of the Copa del Rey as well so the Champions League is their only hope of silverware this season. They will not get a bigger stage to announce their intentions than with a victory over the reigning champions.
Cover The Spread 365 Betting Trends
– Liverpool are 2-5 ATS in the UEFA Champions League this season.
– Liverpool are 0-3 ATS at home in the UEFA Champions League this season.
– Liverpool are 2-5 O/U in the UEFA Champions League this season.
– Atletico Madrid are 2-2-3 ATS in the UEFA Champions League this season.
– Atletico Madrid are 1-2 ATS away from home in the UEFA Champions League this season.
– Atletico Madrid are 2-4-1 O/U in the UEFA Champions League this season.
FREE SOCCER Prediction Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool
Last Time Out
Atletico ran out 1-0 winners thanks to their watertight defense in the first leg. Saul Niguez scored the only goal less than five minutes in after Liverpool failed to clear a regulation corner. Klopp’s men made numerous forays forward, but lacked the killer instinct in the final third as Atletico chalked off any worries about the away-goal rule playing against their favour in this tie.
Sadio Mane will be crucial for Liverpool going into this clash. The winger was taken off at half-time in the first leg, but is almost sure to play the full 90 at Anfield. Mane is involved in almost everything good the Liverpool attack comes up with and got back on the scoresheet in the 2-1 defeat of Bournemouth. Another goal here will give the Reds the required impetus to go on and take the tie, while also improving the Senegalese winger’s current tally of 18 goals in all competitions this season.
Joao Felix will be Atletico’s most important player against Liverpool. The Portuguese forward has endured a rocky start to life at the Spanish capital, but will hope his performance in the weekend against Sevilla will be the start of a fresh and fruitful chapter. With Atleti likely to defend deep, the onus will fall on Felix to not only perform his defensive duties to perfection, but also run at Liverpool’s defenders and somehow secure an away goal for his team.
Goalkeeper Alisson will be unavailable for Liverpool, as will Xerdan Shaqiri and Nathaniel Clyne with all three recovering from injuries. Jordan Henderson too remains a doubt for this fixture.
Predicted Line-up: Adrian; Robertson, van Dijk, Gomez, Alexander-Arnold; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho, Wijnaldum; Mane, Firmino, Salah.
Thomas Lemar is the only first-team player who may not be fit for this fixture. Diego Simeone is likely to have his entire squad to choose from otherwise.
Predicted Line-up: Oblak; Lodi, Savic, Felipe, Vrsaljko; Felix, Koke, Partey, Saul; Morata, Costa.