Match Review: Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid
Date & time: March 11th, 2020 - 8pm
Is it on: BT Sport
Ref: Danny Makkelie (NED)
It seems to be every week now when the 'big one' comes around, as Liverpool take steps closer to winning the club's first league title in 30 years.
But comes Wednesday night and our biggest European night at Anfield rolls about, since we thrashed Barcelona last season in the semi-finals.
Atletico arrive at Anfield on the back of a decent, albeit ultimately frustrating run of form, having dropped points in their last two La Liga games to much lesser sides.
They've shipped 3 goals in those two games too, which should give Liverpool something to work with. If both Espanyol and Sevilla can score against them, then Liverpool can.
Jurgen Klopp has already spoken this week about how Atletico will know how to work the referee, and has warned his team (Mane specifically) about the tricks that they will employ.
But regardless of what the Spaniards have up their sleeves, it's inconceivable to think that the German won't have plenty up his own to ensure that Liverpool at least create good opportunities. Then the rest is up to the players in front of goal.
Injuries & Suspension
It's positive news so far, with the boss letting us know that the captain is back in training and, as long as things go as planned, should be available. Whether he'll start, is another matter.
We've also got Naby Keita back in the squad, as he was at the weekend, but with another 3-4 days of training under his belt.
But the bad news, of course, is that Alisson is definitely out. Until after the derby, at least. So Adrian will deputise in his place.
For Atleti there are no majors injury concerns, with Joao Felix, Diego Costa, Kieran Trippier, whilst Thomas Lemar and Alvaro Morata return to the squad, having been injury concerns.
Last 5 games:
Liverpool (all comps): L-W-L-L-W
Atletico (all comps): D-W-W-D-D
Predicted Line up
It's a fairly straightforward one, in defence and attack. But, once again, the midfield leaves a lot of questions for the boss.
We have a lot of options now, what with Jordan Henderson potentially being back, and the return of Naby Keita and James Milner at the weekend.
So that leaves us with a choice between Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, James Milner, Gini Wijnaldum, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, amongst a few others.
Personally, it would be good to see a rather attacking-minded midfield, with Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain starting. But who do they start ahead of; an out of form Fabinho? The returning captain? A lone Gini in the number six?
For that reason, I'd be looking for Klopp to opt for a more 'safety first', tried and tested midfield three. So expect him to start with either Fabinho, Henderson and Wijnaldum, or Henderson, Milner and Wijnaldum.
Starting XI: Adrian, Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Gomez, Robertson, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Henderson, Mane, Salah, Firmino.