- La Liga giants Atletico Madrid host Champions League holders Liverpool in the last 16
- Liverpool have only lost twice this season, while Atletico has just one win in their last seven matches
- Read below for a preview and prediction for this Champions League tilt
Champions League holders Liverpool travel to the Spanish capital to face Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night (Feb 18, 3pm ET). In what is set to be a captivating last 16, this is a fascinating encounter between a near-unstoppable Liverpool side and an Atletico team out of form.
Diego Simeone’s side have made a habit of upsetting the odds over the years, however, and they’ll be looking to do the same once again this week. The latest Champions League odds favor Jurgen Klopp’s side to progress.
Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool Champions League Odds
|Team||Spread||Moneyline Odds||Total||To Progress|
|Atletico Madrid||pk (+153)||+220||O 2.5 (+124)||+260|
|Liverpool||pk (-178)||+125||U 2.5 (-144)||-350|
Odds taken Feb. 17
Atleti’s Issues in Attack
Diego Costa, Alvaro Morata and Joao Felix are all due to be assessed before Tuesday’s clash. Angel Correa and Vitolo have led the line in Atletico’s last two matches, but Simeone will be desperate to have at least one of his injured trio available for the visit of Liverpool.
Atletico scored just eight goals in six group stage matches and have only 25 goals in 24 La Liga matches. Per Understat, they have been significantly underperforming their expected goals. Chance conversion has been an issue all season long. While Morata and Felix have both struggled in that regard, having the extra attacking options will be a real boost for Atletico. They have scored four goals in their last seven matches, two of those coming in the 2-2 draw with Valencia at the weekend.
Atletico will need to be relatively ambitious on Tuesday. They need a first-leg lead to stand a realistic chance of progressing. The movement of Felix on the break might be their best chance of taking an advantage to Anfield.
Up and Down Group Stage
A loss to Napoli on matchday one put Liverpool under pressure in the group stage. A thriller at home to Salzburg followed, with a late goal from Mohamed Salah snatching the three points. It wasn’t an easy journey through what was – on paper, at least – a very favorable group.
Klopp has seen his side win 14 of 16 since the end of the group stage, however. The two matches they failed to win came with heavily rotated teams in the League Cup and FA Cup. Fresh from a much-needed winter break, Liverpool had to wait for a break through against Norwich at the weekend, but they crafted enough chances and left East Anglia with a victory.
The Premier League is as good as sewn up. Klopp can priortize the Champions League, and he’s fortunate to have only one injury absentee in Xherdan Shaqiri. Fabinho is fully fit after a lengthy lay-off and should start after warming the bench for the first hour at Carrow Road.
Atletico Madrid vs Liverpool Champions League Statistics
|11 yellows, 0 reds||Cards||6 yellows, 0 reds|
|16||Shots per match||17.3|
|53%||Shots inside the area||62%|
Form is Too Important
Liverpool are the best team in world football. Atletico are depleted up front and have been on a poor run over the last few weeks. The Champions League throws up surprises, and Atleti will set up to make it as challenging as possible for Liverpool, but it’s impossible to look past the visitors on Tuesday night.
The draw at +220 will attract a fair bit of interest, and understandably so. Simeone’s tactics for Champions League matches rely on keeping it tight, and he’ll just be looking to still be alive in the tie for the return leg. Despite that, Liverpool at +125 to win the match is the best bet here. Klopp’s team have kept 11 clean sheets in their last 13 matches – another win to nil is likely.
Pick: Liverpool Moneyline (+125)
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