12 March 2020
Liverpool’s hopes of avoiding early UEFA Champions League (CL) elimination face an uphill task as they have to overcome a 1-0 deficit to Atletico Madrid when the two sides lock horns in the second leg of their last-16 tie at Anfield this week.
The hosts have lost only twice in all competitions before succumbing to Atletico in the first leg. Indeed, that loss has marked the beginning of Liverpool’s dip in form, with the Reds losing two of their four competitive matches since (W2), both of which saw them draw a blank and concede over 1.5 goals. However, Anfield has been a real fortress this season, with Jurgen Klopp’s side yet to lose a single game here in all competitions (W18, D2). Moreover, the Merseyside giants are on a run of 11 consecutive home victories, with seven of them yielding a clean sheet. Yet, they shipped at least one goal in each of their three CL home fixtures this term, with three of their five goals conceded across those games coming in the first half of play.
As for the visitors, they head to England on a run of six matches without a loss (W3, D3). Interestingly, while each of their three draws during the six-game sequence saw both teams score, two of their three wins produced the identical 1-0 scoreline. But, away from home, Los Colchoneros have failed to pick up a win in six straight games in all competitions (D4, L2), drawing a blank on half of those occasions. Diego Simeone also has to be wary of the fact that his players have lost both of their previous CL away fixtures, with each yielding a single-goal margin. Still, the Spanish giants can take confidence from the fact that they’ve come off better in eight of their ten previous two-legged ties against the Premier League opponent.
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