EUROPE: Champions League
Time: 21:00 PM
Venue: Anfield (Liverpool)
Liverpool’s return to Anfield after a near four-week absence was spoiled after relinquishing a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 with Brighton over the weekend, albeit preserving their unbeaten start to the season. After a medley of big games, perhaps Liverpool hadn’t quite grounded themselves, but a UEFA Champions League (UCL) night at Anfield is another matter though, as they often seem to save their best for big European nights.
The ‘Reds’ will be confident after beating opponents Atlético Madrid in the reverse fixture, yet after winning only three of their 12 home UCL matches when hosting Spanish opposition, nothing is guaranteed in this clash (D5, L4 – inside 90 minutes). With victory here securing progression from Group B, expect the charismatic Jürgen Klopp to be firing on all cylinders, as he seeks four consecutive UCL victories for the first time as Liverpool boss.
Equally animated Atlético manager Diego Simeone will have to produce a similar team talk if they’re to make their lives easier in Group B, with Porto in close pursuit. They’ve been red hot in attack lately, scoring 2+ goals in their last six fixtures, but winning only half of those games (D2, L1) shows their notoriously rock-solid defence has come into question.
Atlético can ride the momentum of winning their last two away games in the UCL group stages, but they’ve only won three in a row once before under Simeone. Their last trip to Anfield should give them some confidence that they could achieve that feat however, as they famously sent their hosts packing in extra-time of the 2019/20 UCL Round of 16.
Players to watch: Another record is on for Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, who could equal Steve Gerrard’s club-record tally of 14 UCL goals at Anfield, while Atlético’s former ‘Red’ Luis Suárez has seen ten of his last 11 club goals arrive in the second half.
- Liverpool’s form in last 5 matches: DWWWW.
- Atl. Madrid’s form in last 5 matches: WDDLW