Liverpool welcome Atletico Madrid to Anfield in Group B as Jurgen Klopp’s Reds seek to secure their place in the knockout stages of 2021-22 UEFA Champions League.
Victory would see Liverpool stay top of Group B and secure their place in the Round of 16, whereas Atletico can move to within two points of the Reds with a win.
Naby Keita is ruled out for Liverpool after suffering a hamstring injury in Saturday’s 2-2 draw at home to Brighton in the Premier League.
Thiago Alcantara (calf) and Fabinho (knee) won’t be risked until fully match fit but James Milner (hamstring) and Harvey Elliott (ankle) are definitely ruled out.
Atletico Madrid will be without Antoine Griezmann after the Frenchman was red carded in their clash at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium a fortnight ago.
Stefan Savic (suspension), Marcos Llorente, Thomas Lemar (both muscle) and Geoffrey Kondogbia (groin) remain ruled out.
- Liverpool have won just one of five previous Champions League meetings against Atletico Madrid (W1, D2, L2).
- Atletico are unbeaten in two previous Champions League visits to Anfield (W1, D1).
- Five of Liverpool’s 11 Champions League goals this season have been scored by Mohamed Salah.
- Atletico Madrid have had two players sent off in their last four Champions League games (Stefan Savic vs Chelsea in March 2021 & Antoine Griezmann vs Liverpool in October 2021).
- Liverpool are winless in two previous home matches refereed by Danny Makkelie which both came against Spanish opposition – including Atletico Madrid in March 2020 (D1, L1).
Liverpool come into this match in good form especially after beating Atletico in Madrid a fortnight ago, despite some dodgy defending to almost blow a two goal lead which seems to be a concern after replicating that collapse on Saturday against Brighton.
Jurgen Klopp therefore needs to try and find a way to ensure that the defence performs better because that aspect is letting Liverpool’s overall performance down, especially given the high quality of their attack but goals are a certainty here at both ends.
Atletico though will have to find a way to manage without Griezmann spearheading their attack whilst Kondogbia and Lemar will be huge absences for the Spanish champions, which could well lead to some tactical changes.
Either way, this should be another cracking contest but Liverpool feel like they’re on a roll despite their defensive issues, so I am going for a nervy home win.
Prediction: Liverpool 2-1 Atletico Madrid
Result: Liverpool 2-0 Atletico Madrid