European champions Liverpool will be aiming to continue the defence of their title as they come up against Atletico Madrid in their last-16 first-leg at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on Tuesday evening.
The Reds had a relatively incident free progression to the knockout rounds, only suffering one defeat as they finished top of their group. Elsewhere, Diego Simeone’s troops found progression slightly more challenging as they won three out of their six matches, finishing second behind Italian giants Juventus but still four clear of Bayer Leverkusen.
Heading into Tuesday’s clash, the two teams have only met on four occasions in European competition, each claiming a win, with two draws. The last time they met was back in April 2010 in the UEFA Europa League. A goal from Yossi Benayoun in extra-time saw the Reds claim victory. On this occasion, the Merseysiders are just favourites to claim another win at odds of 11/10 with Betfair. Meanwhile, Atleti are available at 27/10, whilst a draw currently sits at 9/4.
Looking at the history between the two sides, it could be a good bet to suggest each side will find the back of the net considering that has occurred in three out of the four games. However, both side’s current defensive record are excellent so it could well be a cagey match. Atletico boast the second-best defence in La Liga having shipped just 17 goals in 24 matches. Elsewhere, Liverpool come into the match on a run of eight clean sheets in ten matches in all competitions since the turn of the year. Under 0.5 goals to be scored sits at 13/2 with Paddy Power.
If Atleti are to keep Liverpool at bay, one of the keys to that is silencing their terrific front-line. Sadio Mane hit his 100th goal in English football at the weekend against Norwich City he is at 9/2 with Betfred to score the opener this time around. Alvaro Morata, who failed to score in his previous appearances against Liverpool for Chelsea, is somewhat fancied to find the net and can also be backed at 9/2.
Another two of Atleti’s forwards, Diego Costa and Joao Felix are unavailable for the match due to injury and will be joined on the sidelines by former Tottenham Hotspur man Kieran Trippier. Jose Gimenez could be drafted into the starting line up having made the bench last Friday. Xherdan Shaqiri and Nathaniel Clyne are still missing for the visitors and will not be travelling to Madrid.